Article

Science Spotlight: Marine Terraces

Geologic forces and the steady work of crashing waves have sculpted the shoreline of Santa Cruz and San Mateo counties.

by Sarah Derouin

During your travels between Santa Cruz and Half Moon Bay, you’ve likely noticed expansive flat stretches of land above the shoreline usually covered by rows of strawberries, Brussels sprouts or artichokes. Those lovely flat fields sit atop formations that geologists call marine terraces.

Over hundreds of thousands of years, the interplay between colliding tectonic plates and rising and falling sea levels creates flat areas of beach deposits. Steady geologic forces lift these platforms out of the water while beaches are carved by ocean waves. The position of the shoreline changes over time—water levels can rise and fall as much as 100 meters as the climate fluctuates. These processes repeat in a relentless cycle.

“For marine terraces we need two things to happen: slow, constant uplift and an oscillating sea level,” says coastal geologist Gary Griggs of UC Santa Cruz. “The terraces are like a dipstick of two very important processes.”

Terraces only form where the coastal rocks are easy to erode. For instance, much of Santa Cruz County has soft mudstone bedrock, creating multiple terrace platforms along the coast. In contrast, Big Sur has a mix of much harder granitic and metamorphic rocks. Those sturdy rocks create steep, rugged cliffs that drop 200 feet to the sea.

As many as five terraces rise from the coast near Santa Cruz. One place you can easily see them is Wilder Ranch. Trails for biking or hiking will take you across several marine terraces. When you switch from a flat or gently sloping stretch to a steep climb, then back to flat, you are traversing former shoreline platforms and old seacliffs. Indeed, your afternoon bike ride could take you on a geologic journey spanning 600,000 years.

Note from the editors: Science Spotlights are a joint project of the UCSC Science Communication Program and Hilltromper. This article was published in November 2016.

Category: 

Field Notes

Plant your flag! Upload a photo, video, field note, nature poem or question for our army of (mostly) amateur naturalists.

 

There are many people who would like to create high quality profession for the development of an environment.The superior papers are providing all the information hose are required to find out the unknown issues.Luna

 

What an amazing post about Santa Cruz and San Mateo counties formation! Everyone would like to visit these beach deposits I think. And if you need to write a five-star resume just enter resumes.expert reviews and you will get professional and high quality writing help.

 

Very interesting picture of Marine Terraces and its all possible detail mentioned in this article with very good looking pictures. That is very beautiful, good looking and very enjoyable place for the visitors. We must have knowledge about such places to make a plan to spend their Holidays. Actually, A site www.hvqzn6.com also try to cover some articles regarding such amazing places.

 

As a citizen of U.S. I want to know about Science Spotlight which title is Marine Terraces because unfortunately i have listen and read about him but don't have proper information about it. I mean which kind of personality and his services for U.S. At this time i need resume service but happy to get this article which have important content about him.

 

Happy New Year 2017 Whatsapp status & DP with Quotes SMS Messages. Advance Happy New Year Greetings with Images Wallpapers HD Download.
happy new year 2017 Images

 

Thank you so much for the informative post.
Hanukkah 2016

 

There is no link to Safari for Windows because Apple stopped ... us are downloading this stupid is browser is so that we can support our clients.
safari browser for windows

 

clipart this post very good.

 

Thank you for this awesome information. I'll bookmark this page. Thank you once again. happy valentine day images
happy valentine day card
happy valentine day images

 

I’ve Been looking for quite some time for a list like this, and this is better than I could ever have asked for.
Google tricks secret
Google Tricks List

 

Free tv full episodes online streaming. Project free tv offer you recently aired new episodes and internet Videos free!
Putlocker Watch
The Project Free TV Show

 

Happy Valentines Day 2017 Images Whatsapp status & DP with Quotes SMS Messages. Advance Happy Valentines Day Greetings with Images Wallpapers HD Download.
Happy Valentines Day 2017 Images

Valentines Day 2017 Images

 

Australia Day is celebrated every year on 26th January in Australia with great joy and happiness. Australia Day profile pics and Australia Day Images Australia Day is the official National Day of

 

Visit my page for
Best Love Status
Love Status
Love Quotes
Breakup Status
& many interesting content.