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Methane Seepage Along Faults In The Santa Barbara Coastal Area

April 14, 2016 from 7:00pm

Lecture presented by James Boles

Where: Santa Barbara Maritime Museum, 113 Harbor Way, Santa Barbara, California
When: Thursday, April 14, 2016 at 7 pm

Members only Reception • 6:15 – 6:45 pm

Cost: Free (members), $10 (non-members)
Register here or call (805) 456-8747

Lecture Series Sponsored by: Santa Barbara County Arts Commission, John C. Woodward, and Silvio Di Loreto

The Santa Barbara Channel is home to the second largest natural oil and gas seeps in the world. Learn more about methane gas seeps, an environmental disaster of nature, from UCSB Earth Sciences Professor James Boles, Ph.D.

Hydrocarbon seepage has occurred in the Santa Barbara channel and coastal areas for at least a few hundred thousand years. The Monterey Formation is the source of these hydrocarbons. Geologic evidence in the coastal foothills indicates the release of hot, high pressure hydrocarbon fluids from the Monterey Formation in the Santa Barbara basin into faults along the coastline. Release of the fluids was a result of tectonic deformation in the area about 125,000 to 500,000 years ago.

James Boles will explain why hydrocarbon seepage has occurred in the Santa Barbara channel and coastal areas for, at least, a few hundred thousand years.

Professor James R. Boles (Emeritus)
Department of Earth Science, UCSB

Professional Preparation:
Purdue University, B.S., Geology, University of Wyoming, M.S., Geology, University of Otago, New Zealand, PhD, Geology, and University of Wyoming, Post Doctoral Fellow.

Started the clastic diagenesis research group at ARCO Research Lab, Dallas, TX.

34 years Professor UC Santa Barbara (“retired” since 2008) 
     Taught : 
         Sedimentary Petrology 
         Field methods, Intro Field mapping, summer field camp 
         Petroleum Geology

Consultant to numerous companies (mostly related to hydrocarbon exploration and production, some work with engineering environmental companies) 1975-2015.

More than 100 published refereed journals.

Main research specialty is diagenesis, which is a study of chemical and physical processes that change sediments into rocks. 

Present research interests: 
     Fault-related mantle helium in Southern California 
     Relation of offshore hydrocarbon production to natural seeps 
     Spontaneous combustion in landslides


Event Details

  • Organizer/Sponsor: SBMM
  • Starts: April 14, 2016 7:00pm
  • Location: Santa Barbara Maritime Museum
  • Website: