Scorpion Rock | MARINe

Scorpion Rock

Click here for Long-Term trends

Scorpion Rock is located in the Northern Channel Islands, within the Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary, on Santa Cruz Island, California. This site is located in an Area of Special Biological Significance (San Miguel, Santa Rosa, and Santa Cruz Islands ASBS) within the Scorpion State Marine Reserve in Channel Islands National Park. This site consists of two areas: the main site and the Hesperophycus plots, on rocks separated from the main island. The moderately sloping site consists of moderately uneven terrain, containing few cracks and folds.

Scorpion Rock long-term monitoring overview

Scorpion Rock is dominated by a mixture of consolidated volcanic bedrock and boulder fields, and the area surrounding the site is comprised of a mixture of consolidated bedrock, boulder fields, and sandy beach. The primary coastal orientation varies at this site, and it is well protected from direct northwest swells by Scorpion Rock (for which the site is named).

Scorpion Rock long-term monitoring closeup

Long-Term Monitoring Surveys at Scorpion Rock were established in 1994, and are done by Channel Islands National Park. Long-Term MARINe  surveys currently target the following species: Chthamalus/Balanus (Acorn Barnacles), Tetraclita (Pink Barnacle), Mytilus (California Mussel), Hesperophycus (Olive Rockweed), and Endocladia (Turfweed). In addition, motile invertebrates and mussel size structure are monitored at this site. Click here to view Long-Term trends at this site.

For more information about Scorpion Rock, please contact Stephen Whitaker (

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