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Landscapes of Santa Rosa Island, Channel Islands National Park, California

January 1, 2014

Santa Rosa Island (SRI) is the second-largest of the California Channel Islands. It is one of 4 east–west aligned islands forming the northern Channel Islands chain, and one of the 5 islands in Channel Islands National Park. The landforms, and collections of landforms called landscapes, of Santa Rosa Island have been created by tectonic uplift and faulting, rising and falling sea level, landslides, erosion and deposition, floods, and droughts. Landscape features, and areas delineating groups of related features on Santa Rosa Island, are mapped, classified, and described in this paper. Notable landscapes on the island include beaches, coastal plains formed on marine terraces, sand dunes, and sand sheets. In this study, the inland physiography has been classified into 4 areas based on relief and degree of fluvial dissection. Most of the larger streams on the island occupy broad valleys that have been filled with alluvium and later incised to form steep- to vertical-walled arroyos, or barrancas, leaving a relict floodplain above the present channel. A better understanding of the processes and mechanisms that created these landscapes enhances visitors’ enjoyment of their surroundings and contributes to improving land and resource management strategies in order to optimize and balance the multiple goals of conservation, preservation, restoration, and visitor experience.

Publication Year 2014
Title Landscapes of Santa Rosa Island, Channel Islands National Park, California
Authors R. Randall Schumann, Scott A. Minor, Daniel R. Muhs, Jeffery S. Pigati
Publication Type Book Chapter
Publication Subtype Book Chapter
Index ID 70146522
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Geosciences and Environmental Change Science Center