SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA BIGHT REGIONAL INVESTIGATIONS LIFE, LAND, AND OCEAN

Project Description
The CABRILLO Project (Southern CAlifornia Bight Regional Investigations Life, Land, and Ocean) of the U.S. Geological Survey addresses complex oceanographic and hazard issues that affect Southern California coastal communities.

The offshore area is geologically active resulting in the potential for earthquakes, underwater mass-wasting events (submarine landslides and slumps), and tsunamis. The geology of the seafloor along the coast and continental shelf of Southern California provides diverse habitats that include rich fisheries, kelp forests, marine mammals, and many other niches and biological guilds. Both human and non-human inhabitants are at risk from pollution of the coastal ocean and from the degradation of fresh-water sources as a result of salt-water intrusion. In addition, the coastal ocean is a resource for economic development (shipping), communication (trans-oceanic cables), fishing, recreation, and tourism. The CABRILLO project provides USGS scientists with an interdisciplinary framework in which these complex coastal issues can be studied.

CABRILLO efforts currently focus on six component tasks and a regional synthesis:

* CASA - Salt Water Intrusion investigates offshore-onshore components of salt-water intrusion into coastal aquifers by developing 2D and 3D stratigraphic models of potential salt-water infiltration.
* Océano - Contaminant Processes studies ocean contaminants, their distribution along the coastal region and the processes by which they are transported.
* Playa - Coastal Change addresses issues of coastal change, including beach loss, shoreline retreat, and the processes that impact coastal stability.
* Tierra - Geologic Hazards investigates geologic hazards associated with submarine landslides, earthquakes, and tsunamis.
* Vida - Benthic Habitats concerns the relationship between sea-floor rock and sediment and benthic habitats.
* Región - Regional Synthesis provides a regional synthesis of Southern California's coastal and marine geology, the impact of man on the environment and the impact of the natural environment on man.

Summary provided by http://walrus.wr.usgs.gov/cabrillo/