Monterey

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 11.7 sq mi (30.4 km2), of which 8.5 sq mi (21.9 km2) is land and 3.3 sq mi (8.5 km2) (28.05%) is water. Sand deposits in the northern coastal area comprise the sole known mineral resources.

Local soil is Quaternary Alluvium. Common soil series include the Baywood fine sand on the east side, Narlon loamy sand on the west side, Sheridan coarse sandy loam on hilly terrain, and the pale Tangair sand on hills supporting closed-cone pine habitat. The city is in a moderate to high seismic risk zone, the principal threat being the active San Andreas Fault approximately 26 miles (42 km) to the east. The Monterey Bay fault, which tracks three miles (4.8 km) to the north, is also active, as is the Palo Colorado fault seven miles (11.3 km) to the south. Also nearby, minor but potentially active, are the Berwick Canyon, Seaside, Tularcitos and Chupines faults.

Monterey Bay’s maximum credible tsunami for a 100-year interval has been calculated as a wave nine feet (2.7 m) high. The considerable undeveloped area in the northwest part of the city has a high potential for landslides and erosion.

The city is adjacent to the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary, a federally protected ocean area extending 276 mi (444 km) along the coast. Sometimes this sanctuary is confused with the local bay which is also termed Monterey Bay.

Soquel Canyon State Marine Conservation Area, Portuguese Ledge State Marine Conservation Area, Pacific Grove Marine Gardens State Marine Conservation Area, Lovers Point State Marine Reserve, Edward F. Ricketts State Marine Conservation Area and Asilomar State Marine Reserve are marine protected areas established by the state of California in Monterey Bay. Like underwater parks, these marine protected areas help conserve ocean wildlife and marine ecosystems.

The California sea otter, a threatened subspecies, inhabits the local Monterey Bay marine environment, and a field station of The Marine Mammal Center is located in Monterey to support sea rescue operations in this section of the California coast. The rare San Joaquin kit fox is found in Monterey’s oak-forest and chaparral habitats. The chaparral, found mainly on the city’s drier eastern slopes, hosts such plants as manzanita, chamise and ceanothus. Additional species of interest (that is, potential candidates for endangered species status) are the Salinas kangaroo rat and the silver-sided legless lizard.

Monterey Wharf and Harbor area
There is a variety of natural habitat in Monterey: littoral zone and sand dunes; closed-cone pine forest; and Monterey Cypress. There are no dairy farms in the city of Monterey; the semi-hard cheese known as Monterey Jack originated in nearby Carmel Valley, California, and is named after businessman and land speculator David Jack.

The closed-cone pine habitat is dominated by Monterey pine, Knobcone pine and Bishop pine, and contains the rare Monterey manzanita. In the early 20th century the botanist Willis Linn Jepson characterized Monterey Peninsula’s forests as the “most important silva ever”, and encouraged Samuel F.B. Morse (a century younger than the inventor Samuel F. B. Morse) of the Del Monte Properties Company Properties Company to explore the possibilities of preserving the unique forest communities.[28] The dune area is no less important, as it hosts endangered species such as the vascular plants Seaside birds beak, Hickman’s potentilla and Eastwood’s Ericameria. Rare plants also inhabit the chaparral: Hickman’s onion, Yadon’s piperia (Piperia yadonii) and Sandmat manzanita. Other rare plants in Monterey include Hutchinson’s delphinium, Tidestrom lupine, Gardner’s yampah and Monterey Knotweed, the latter perhaps already extinct.

Monterey’s noise pollution has been mapped to define the principal sources of noise and to ascertain the areas of the population exposed to significant levels. Principal sources are the Monterey Regional Airport, State Route 1 and major arterial streets such as Munras Avenue, Fremont Street, Del Monte Boulevard, and Camino Aguajito. While most of Monterey is a quiet residential city, a moderate number of people in the northern part of the city are exposed to aircraft noise at levels in excess of 60 dB on the Community Noise Equivalent Level (CNEL) scale. The most intense source is State Route 1: all residents exposed to levels greater than 65 CNEL—about 1600 people—live near State Route 1 or one of the principal arterial streets.

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Places adjacent to Monterey, California
Climate
The climate of Monterey is regulated by its proximity to the Pacific Ocean resulting in a cool-summer Mediterranean climate (Köppen climate classification: Csb). Monterey’s average high temperatures range from around 14 °C (57 °F) in winter to 21 °C (70 °F) during the summer months. Average annual precipitation is around 19.5 inches (500 mm), with most rainfall occurring between October and April, with little to no precipitation falling during the summer months. There is an average of 70 days with measurable precipitation annually. Summers in Monterey are often cool and foggy. The cold surface waters cause even summer nights to be unusually cool for the latitude, opposite to on the U.S. east coast where coastal summer days and nights are much warmer. The extreme moderation is further underlined by the fact that Monterey is on a similar latitude in California as Death Valley – the hottest area in the world.

During winter, snow occasionally falls in the higher elevations of the Santa Lucia Mountains and Gabilan Mountains that overlook Monterey, but snow in Monterey itself is extremely rare. A few unusual events in January 1962, February 1976, and December 1997 brought a light coating of snow to Monterey. In March 2006, a total of 3.2 inches (81 mm) fell in Monterey, including 2.2 inches (56 mm) on March 10, 2006. The snowfall on January 21, 1962, of 1.5 inches (38 mm), is remembered for delaying the Bing Crosby golf tournament in nearby Pebble Beach.