Location of the SPOT Station

The SPOT station (33˚33’ N, 118˚24’ W) is located approximately 10 miles offshore from the Port of Los Angeles in the southern California Bight.

Coastal ecosystems provide a home for more than 50% of the U.S. population, and contribute significantly to the economic and social vitality of the nation.  There are more than 15 million people who live in the greater Los Angeles region.  The proximity of the SPOT station to a highly impacted and urban coastline provides a unique vantage point to study the impact that human activity can have on the marine environment.  


GSA Permission Granted for Image taken from Earth Science in the Urban Ocean: The Southern California Continental Borderland
By Homa J. Lee, William R. Normark

Biogeochemical and physical water column properties measured monthly by ship demonstrate low surface chlorophyll aconcentrations (< 2 ug/L) year-round. Relatively shallow mixing in winter (MLD max ~ 50 m) stimulates slight increases in Chlorophyll aconcentrations in spring. Depth of the deep chlorophyll a maximum varies seasonally (<20-60 m), and the site is persistently hypoxic (<1 mL/L) below ~300 m down to the bottom of the San Pedro Basin (~890 m). 

  • Troy Gunderson
  • USC Wrigley Institute for Environmental Studies
  • University of Southern California
  • University Park Campus
  • AHF 108
  • Los Angeles, CA 90089-0371