Santa Barbara Channel
Overview
 
The Santa Barbara Channel is a portion of the Pacific Ocean
Pacific Ocean
The Pacific Ocean is the largest of the Earth's oceanic divisions. It extends from the Arctic in the north to the Southern Ocean in the south, bounded by Asia and Australia in the west, and the Americas in the east.At 165.2 million square kilometres in area, this largest division of the World...

 which separates the mainland
Mainland
Mainland is a name given to a large landmass in a region , or to the largest of a group of islands in an archipelago. Sometimes its residents are called "Mainlanders"...

 of California
California
California is a state located on the West Coast of the United States. It is by far the most populous U.S. state, and the third-largest by land area...

 from the northern Channel Islands
Channel Islands of California
The Channel Islands of California are a chain of eight islands located in the Pacific Ocean off the coast of Southern California along the Santa Barbara Channel in the United States of America...

. It is generally south of the city of Santa Barbara
Santa Barbara, California
Santa Barbara is the county seat of Santa Barbara County, California, United States. Situated on an east-west trending section of coastline, the longest such section on the West Coast of the United States, the city lies between the steeply-rising Santa Ynez Mountains and the Pacific Ocean...

, and west of the city of Ventura
Ventura, California
Ventura is the county seat of Ventura County, California, United States, incorporated in 1866. The population was 106,433 at the 2010 census, up from 100,916 at the 2000 census. Ventura is accessible via U.S...

.

It trends east-west, is approximately 130 kilometres (70.2 nmi) long and averages about 45 kilometres (24.3 nmi) across, becoming narrowest at its easternmost extremity where Anacapa Island
Anacapa Island
Anacapa Island is a small volcanic island located about off the coast of Port Hueneme, California, in Ventura County. The Island is composed of a series of narrow islets six miles long, running in a mostly east-west orientation, five miles east of Santa Cruz Island...

 is about 30 kilometres (16.2 nmi) from the mainland.
Encyclopedia
The Santa Barbara Channel is a portion of the Pacific Ocean
Pacific Ocean
The Pacific Ocean is the largest of the Earth's oceanic divisions. It extends from the Arctic in the north to the Southern Ocean in the south, bounded by Asia and Australia in the west, and the Americas in the east.At 165.2 million square kilometres in area, this largest division of the World...

 which separates the mainland
Mainland
Mainland is a name given to a large landmass in a region , or to the largest of a group of islands in an archipelago. Sometimes its residents are called "Mainlanders"...

 of California
California
California is a state located on the West Coast of the United States. It is by far the most populous U.S. state, and the third-largest by land area...

 from the northern Channel Islands
Channel Islands of California
The Channel Islands of California are a chain of eight islands located in the Pacific Ocean off the coast of Southern California along the Santa Barbara Channel in the United States of America...

. It is generally south of the city of Santa Barbara
Santa Barbara, California
Santa Barbara is the county seat of Santa Barbara County, California, United States. Situated on an east-west trending section of coastline, the longest such section on the West Coast of the United States, the city lies between the steeply-rising Santa Ynez Mountains and the Pacific Ocean...

, and west of the city of Ventura
Ventura, California
Ventura is the county seat of Ventura County, California, United States, incorporated in 1866. The population was 106,433 at the 2010 census, up from 100,916 at the 2000 census. Ventura is accessible via U.S...

.

It trends east-west, is approximately 130 kilometres (70.2 nmi) long and averages about 45 kilometres (24.3 nmi) across, becoming narrowest at its easternmost extremity where Anacapa Island
Anacapa Island
Anacapa Island is a small volcanic island located about off the coast of Port Hueneme, California, in Ventura County. The Island is composed of a series of narrow islets six miles long, running in a mostly east-west orientation, five miles east of Santa Cruz Island...

 is about 30 kilometres (16.2 nmi) from the mainland. During the last ice age, the four northern Channel Islands, including Santa Rosa Island, were conjoined into Santa Rosae, a single island that was only five miles (8 km) off the coast.

The Santa Barbara Channel is considered a scenic location, with the islands visible from the mainland on clear days.

Excursion boats cross the channel, taking visitors to watch whale
Whale
Whale is the common name for various marine mammals of the order Cetacea. The term whale sometimes refers to all cetaceans, but more often it excludes dolphins and porpoises, which belong to suborder Odontoceti . This suborder also includes the sperm whale, killer whale, pilot whale, and beluga...

s and visit the islands. In the perpendicular (east-west) direction, huge cargo ships and tankers occupy a major shipping lane on their way to or from the ports of Los Angeles
Los Ángeles
Los Ángeles is the capital of the province of Biobío, in the commune of the same name, in Region VIII , in the center-south of Chile. It is located between the Laja and Biobío rivers. The population is 123,445 inhabitants...

 and Long Beach
Long Beach, California
Long Beach is a city situated in Los Angeles County in Southern California, on the Pacific coast of the United States. The city is the 36th-largest city in the nation and the seventh-largest in California. As of 2010, its population was 462,257...

.

The Channel is the location of numerous oil fields, some of which have substantial reserves. These include the Ellwood
Ellwood Oil Field
Ellwood Oil Field and South Ellwood Offshore Oil Field are a pair of adjacent, partially active oil fields adjoining the city of Goleta, California, about twelve miles west of Santa Barbara, largely in the Santa Barbara Channel...

, Summerland
Summerland Oil Field
The Summerland Oil Field is an inactive oil field in Santa Barbara County, California, about four miles east of the city of Santa Barbara, within and next to the unincorporated community of Summerland...

, Carpinteria offshore
Carpinteria Offshore Oil Field
The Carpinteria Offshore Oil Field is an oil and gas field in Santa Barbara Channel, south of the city of Carpinteria in southern California in the United States...

 and Dos Cuadras
Dos Cuadras Offshore Oil Field
The Dos Cuadras Offshore Oil Field is a large oil and gas field underneath the Santa Barbara Channel about eight miles southeast of Santa Barbara, California. Discovered in 1968, and with a cumulative production of over 260 million barrels of oil, it is the 24th-largest oil field within California...

 fields. In 1969, the Dos Cuadras was the point of origin of a major oil spill
1969 Santa Barbara oil spill
The Santa Barbara oil spill occurred in January and February 1969 in the Santa Barbara Channel, near the city of Santa Barbara in Southern California. It was the largest oil spill in United States waters at the time, and now ranks third after the 2010 Deepwater Horizon and 1989 Exxon Valdez spills...

, which came about when oil spurted at high pressure through faults and cracks around a zone which had recently been drilled for the first time. Public outrage over the massive environmental damage inflicted by this spill, which covered hundreds of square miles of the channel and fouled beaches from Ventura to Goleta, was a major spur to the budding environmental movement
Environmental movement
The environmental movement, a term that includes the conservation and green politics, is a diverse scientific, social, and political movement for addressing environmental issues....

. Some oil exploration and production activities continue in the area, in spite of vigorous opposition from local organizations, such as Santa Barbara-based Get Oil Out (GOO).

Kaustubh Vemuri of Pune in India, became the youngest person to swim across the Santa Barbara Channel on 29 September 2007. He swam a distance of 20 kilometres (10.8 nmi) from Anacapa Island to Oxnard in 7hr and 23mins.

The Santa Barbara Channel contains the world's largest natural oil seepage - Coal Oil Point
Coal Oil Point seep field
The Coal Oil Point seep field offshore from Santa Barbara, California is a petroleum seep area of about three square kilometers adjacent to the Ellwood Oil Field, and releases about 40 tons per day of methane and about 19 tons of reactive organic gas , about twice the hydrocarbon air pollution...

.

Prehistory

Prior to the Holocene
Holocene
The Holocene is a geological epoch which began at the end of the Pleistocene and continues to the present. The Holocene is part of the Quaternary period. Its name comes from the Greek words and , meaning "entirely recent"...

 era sea levels were considerably lower, such that the water width separating the mainland was much less. This effect had a significant effect upon biological colonization as well as human transport via plank canoes. As examples, the Native American
Native Americans in the United States
Native Americans in the United States are the indigenous peoples in North America within the boundaries of the present-day continental United States, parts of Alaska, and the island state of Hawaii. They are composed of numerous, distinct tribes, states, and ethnic groups, many of which survive as...

 Chumash peoples navigated these waters with ease using their primitive watercraft, allowing communication and trade between island and mainland villages. In terms of biological colonization, C. Michael Hogan reviews some of the theories of colonization of the rare species
Rare species
A rare species is a group of organisms that are very uncommon or scarce. This designation may be applied to either a plant or animal taxon, and may be distinct from the term "endangered" or "threatened species" but not "extinct"....

 Torrey Pine
Torrey Pine
The Torrey Pine, Pinus torreyana, is the rarest pine species in the United States, an endangered species growing only in San Diego County and on one of the Channel Islands, endemic to the coastal sage and chaparral ecoregion in the U.S...

, Pinus torreyana to the islands, suggesting that it is likely that Chumash peoples carried the initial cones in their canoes. The most famous endemic species, though now extinct, was the pygmy mammoth
Pygmy Mammoth
The Pygmy Mammoth or Channel Islands Mammoth is an extinct species of dwarf elephant descended from the Columbian mammoth . A case of island or insular dwarfism, M. exilis was only to tall at the shoulder and weighed about , in contrast to its tall, ancestor.Remains of M...

, which is often cited as a case study in insular dwarfism
Insular dwarfism
Insular dwarfism, a form of phyletic dwarfism, is the process and condition of the reduction in size of large animals – typically mammals – when their population's range is limited to a small environment, primarily islands. This natural process is distinct from the intentional creation of dwarf...

.

Alternate meaning

The Santa Barbara Channel is also the name of local television including 17 community access and 21 arts and education.

Risk of Ship-Whale Collisions

As of at least 2011, a few endangered species of whale (including blue
Blue Whale
The blue whale is a marine mammal belonging to the suborder of baleen whales . At in length and or more in weight, it is the largest known animal to have ever existed....

, fin
Fin Whale
The fin whale , also called the finback whale, razorback, or common rorqual, is a marine mammal belonging to the suborder of baleen whales. It is the second longest whale and the sixth largest living animal after the blue whale, bowhead whale, and right whales, growing to nearly 27 metres long...

, and humpback
Humpback Whale
The humpback whale is a species of baleen whale. One of the larger rorqual species, adults range in length from and weigh approximately . The humpback has a distinctive body shape, with unusually long pectoral fins and a knobbly head. It is an acrobatic animal, often breaching and slapping the...

) have began to feed in a new area north of the Santa Cruz
Santa Cruz Island
Santa Cruz Island was the largest privately owned island off the continental United States, but is currently part-owned by the National Park service . The island, located off the coast of California, is long and from wide...

 and Santa Rosa
Santa Rosa Island, California
Santa Rosa Island is the second largest of the Channel Islands of California at 53,195 acres . Defined by the United States Census Bureau as Block 3009, Block Group 3, Census Tract 29.10 of Santa Barbara County, California, the 2000 census showed an official population of 2 persons. It is part of...

 islands of the Santa Barbara Channel. These whales are at risk to be struck by ships passing through a shipping-lane used to move goods south to Los Angeles
Port of Los Angeles
The Port of Los Angeles, also called Los Angeles Harbor and WORLDPORT L.A, is a port complex that occupies of land and water along of waterfront. The port is located on San Pedro Bay in the San Pedro neighborhood of Los Angeles, approximately south of downtown...

 and Long Beach
Port of Long Beach
The Port of Long Beach, also known as Long Beach’s Harbor Department, is the 2nd busiest container port in the USA. It adjoins the separate Port of Los Angeles. Acting as a major gateway for U.S.-Asian trade, the port occupies of land with of waterfront in the city of Long Beach, California...

ports. About 100 collisions have been documented off of the coast of California since 1982, which includes a rate of about 6 per year today, possibly more due to the difficulty of observing the incidents.

External links

The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.
 
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