Geologic Map of the Goleta Quadrangle, Santa Barbara County, California

Open-File Report 2007-1403

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This map depicts the distribution of bedrock units and surficial deposits and associated deformation underlying those parts of the Santa Barbara coastal plain and adjacent southern flank of the Santa Ynez Mountains within the Goleta 7 ?? quadrangle at a compilation scale of 1:24,000 (one inch on the map = 2,000 feet on the ground) and with a horizontal positional accuracy of at least 20 m. The Goleta map overlaps an earlier preliminary geologic map of the central part of the coastal plain (Minor and others, 2002) that provided coverage within the coastal, central parts of the Goleta and contiguous Santa Barbara quadrangles. In addition to new mapping in the northern part of the Goleta quadrangle, geologic mapping in other parts of the map area has been revised from the preliminary map compilation based on new structural interpretations supplemented by new biostratigraphic data. All surficial and bedrock map units are described in detail in the accompanying map pamphlet. Abundant biostratigraphic and biochronologic data based on microfossil identifications are presented in expanded unit descriptions of the marine Neogene Monterey and Sisquoc Formations. Site-specific fault-kinematic observations (including slip-sense determinations) are embedded in the digital map database. The Goleta quadrangle is located in the western Transverse Ranges physiographic province along an east-west-trending segment of the southern California coastline about 100 km (62 mi) northwest of Los Angeles. The Santa Barbara coastal plain surface, which spans the central part of the quadrangle, includes several mesas and hills that are geomorphic expressions of underlying, potentially active folds and partly buried oblique and reverse faults of the Santa Barbara fold and fault belt (SBFFB). Strong earthquakes have occurred offshore within 10 km of the Santa Barbara coastal plain in 1925 (6.3 magnitude), 1941 (5.5 magnitude) and 1978 (5.1 magnitude). These and numerous smaller seismic events located beneath and offshore of the coastal plain, likely occurred on reverse-oblique-slip faults that are similar to, or continuous with, Quaternary reverse faults crossing the coastal plain. Thus, faults of the SBFFB pose a significant earthquake hazard to the approximately 200,000 people living within the major coastal population centers of Santa Barbara and Goleta. In addition, numerous Quaternary landslide deposits along the steep southern flank of the Santa Ynez Mountains indicate the potential for continued slope failures and mass movements in developed areas. Folded, faulted, and fractured sedimentary rocks in the subsurface of the coastal plain and adjacent Santa Barbara Channel are sources and form reservoirs for economic deposits of oil and gas, some of which are currently being extracted offshore. Shallow, localized sedimentary aquifers underlying the coastal plain provide limited amounts of water for the urban areas, but the quality of some of this groundwater is compromised by coastal salt-water contamination. The present map compilation provides a set of uniform geologic digital coverages that can be used for analysis and interpretation of these and other geologic hazards and resources in the Goleta region.

Study Area

Additional publication details

Publication type:
Publication Subtype:
USGS Numbered Series
Geologic Map of the Goleta Quadrangle, Santa Barbara County, California
Series title:
Open-File Report
Series number:
Version 1.0
Year Published:
Geological Survey (U.S.)
Contributing office(s):
U.S. Geological Survey
Pamphlet: 41 p.; Map: 60 x 36 inches; Downloads Directory; ReadMe; Metadata
Additional Online Files (Y/N):