UC Santa Barbara Public Affairs and Communications

NEWS RELEASE

UCSB GEOLOGIST TO DISCUSS ISLA CALAFIA, AN ICE AGE ISLAND SUBMERGED IN THE SANTA BARBARA CHANNEL

November 8, 2002

(Santa Barbara, Calif.) – The Ice Age island Isla Calafia, named for a beautiful mythical warrior queen, was only recently discovered in the Santa Barbara Channel.

Edward A. Keller, the professor of geological sciences and environmental studies at UCSB who discovered the lost island, will talk about it on Wednesday, November 20 at 5:30 p.m. at the Faulkner Gallery of the Santa Barbara Public Library, 40 East Anapamu Street.

Admission to the lecture is free, but advance registration is required and can be made by calling the UCSB Office of Community Relations at 893-4388.

The island, believed to have been submerged for more than 13,000 years, lies under 300 feet of water and rises about 660 feet off the bottom of the Santa Barbara Channel. Using high-resolution topographic maps of the channel floor, Keller discovered that Calafia is not only bordered by two major earthquake faults – one capable of producing a 7.5 magnitude earthquake and a tsunami – but also is located near pockets of natural gas that, were they to burst, could cause potential harm to passing ships.

Keller earned his Ph.D. in geology from Purdue University in 1973 and joined the faculty of UCSB in 1976. Among his awards is the Purdue University School of Science Distinguished Alumni Award. His scholarly publications and books include the textbook "Environmental Geology."

###

(67)