Bands of coarse sand that trend parallel to the shore, unlike the approximately shore-normal bands found in many inner shelf areas, occur in southern Monterey Bay at water depths of 10-20 m, less than 1 km from the shore. The bands are 20-100 m wide and alternate with bands of fine sand that are of similar width. The coarse-sand bands are as much as 1 m lower than the adjacent fine-sand bands, which have margins inclined at angles of about 20??. The mean grain sizes of the coarse and fine sand are in the range of 0.354-1.0 mm and 0.125-0.354 mm, respectively. Wave ripples that average about 1 m in spacing always occur in the coarse-sand bands. Over a period of 3 yrs, the individual bands moved irregularly and changed in shape, as demonstrated by repeated sidescan sonar surveys and by the monitoring of rods jetted into the sea floor. However, the overall pattern and distribution of the bands remained essentially unchanged. Cores, 0.5-1.0 m long, taken in coarse-sand bands contain 0.2-0.5 m of coarse sand overlying fine sand or interbedded fine and coarse sand. Cores from fine-sand bands have at least one thin coarse sand layer at about the depth of the adjacent coarse-sand band. None of the cores revealed a thick deposit of coarse sand. The shore-parallel bands are of unknown origin. Their origin is especially puzzling because approximately shore-normal bands are present in parts of the study area and immediately to the north. ?? 1988.