California: Scenic Jalama Beach
June 25, 2013 6 Comments
Recently we visited Jalama Beach (north of Santa Barbara, California). The geology of the area is very interesting. Walking along the beach it is possible to see sandstone, travertine onyx, and agates. On a super lucky day you might even see petrified whale bone or fossilized fish. Naturally-occurring black tar coats a few of the rocks on the beach. It seeps from oil–bearing rocks along fault lines of the Miocene Monterey Formation. The seeps can be both onshore (La Brea Tar Pits) and offshore, and are a source for oil and gas production in Southern California. In the past, native Chumash people used the tar to waterproof their boats. We saw lots of sea life on the beach, including dozens of starfish, a clump of orange club sea squirts, and several kinds of seaweed. The road to Jalama Beach (west of Solvang) winds through rolling hills past several wineries. The landscape is so beautiful that we were momentarily delayed while a Mercedes-Benz C250 car commercial was being filmed in the area!