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The Pleistocene Paleontology and Stratigraphy of Palos Verdes Peninsula

Stephen E. Jacobs
2871 Sanford Lane, Carlsbad, CA 92010-6553

The Palos Verdes Peninsula is one of the richest areas for Pleistocene fossil marine invertebrates in the world. Work by Arnold (1903) and Woodring et al. (1946) has been the most important to understand the Pleistocene stratigraphy and paleontology of the Palos Verdes Peninsula. Pleistocene formations of the Peninsula are the Lomita Marl, Timms Point Silt, San Pedro Sand, Palos Verdes Sand, and up to 14 or 15 marine terraces. Arnold (1903) first reported on the Pleistocene of the Palos Verdes Peninsula and primarily studied localities that included Deadman Island, Timms Point, Crawfish George’s, the San Pedro Bluff, and his old lumber yard. Of these localities, only Timms Point and Crawfish George’s are still accessible and both are now severely restricted. Of the localities reported by Woodring et al. (1946), one remains on the north side of 2nd Street between Pacific Avenue and Mesa Street in San Pedro. The Chandler Quarry on the north side of Palos Verdes Hills, accessible until recently, exposed about 24 m (80 ft) of San Pedro Sand overlain by about 9 m (30 ft) of Palos Verdes Sand and terrace cover. At 2nd Street, four Pleistocene units, Lomita Marl, Timms Point Silt, San Pedro Sand and Palos Verdes Sand, are still visible. The Richard R. Ball/Butcher sand pit in Palos Verdes Hills and the exposures on the north side of 2nd Street, south side of 8th Street, and northwest side of John S. Gibson Boulevard, San Pedro are the most important remaining Pleistocene outcrops on the Palos Verdes Peninsula. The closure of these sites will mark the end of an era in studying the Pleistocene of southern California, and the richest Pleistocene fossil collections in the world will be restricted to universities, museums, and private ownership.


AAPG Search and Discovery Article #90076©2008 AAPG Pacific Section, Bakersfield, California