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Original Essays | July 22, 2014

Nick Harkaway: IMG The Florist-Assassins

The three men lit up in my mind's eye, with footnotes. They were converging on me — and on the object I was carrying — in a way that had... Continue »
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Introduction to California's Beaches and Coast (California Natural History Guides)


Introduction to California's Beaches and Coast (California Natural History Guides) Cover


Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

From sunny beaches where thousands escape the summers heat to wild and isolated rocky cliffs, California boasts one of the most spectacular and diverse shorelines in the world. Accompanied by numerous color photographs, diagrams, and maps, this guide explains why Californias Pacific Coast looks and works the way it does. Gary Griggs explores the dynamic forces that have created beaches and the coastline through lively discussions of tectonics, the formation of waves, rain and wind, changing climates and sea levels, human impacts, and coastal erosion. The guide answers such questions as:

• Where does all that sand come from?

• Can we harness the energy of waves?

• How fast does the coastline erode?

• What lies just off shore beneath the waves?

Book News Annotation:

Part of a superb series of pocket guides, this volume offers the general reader a wealth of information about the geography and geology of California's fabled coastline. Griggs (director, Institute of Marine Sciences, U. of California, Santa Cruz), explains why the sand comes and goes, why it has different colors, why the waves sometimes make perfectly spaced scallop patterns on the beach, what tsunamis are, different kinds of waves and what they do, the hows and whys of sea level change, different examples of the retreat of the coastline, what the topography is like offshore, and other tales of interest to any beach visitor or resident. The descriptions are compelling in their relevance, as Griggs demonstrates deep local knowledge of specific examples of geology and geography, looks at historic events, and forecasts likely future scenarios. The book is heavily illustrated with color photos, including many aerial photos, and diagrams. Annotation ©2010 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (

About the Author

Gary Griggs is Director of the Institute of Marine Sciences and Professor of Earth and Planetary Sciences at the University of California, Santa Cruz. He is the co-author of The Santa Cruz Coast: Then and Now and Living with the Changing California Coast (UC Press), among other books.

Product Details

Griggs, Gary
University of California Press
General Nature
Coasts -- California.
Natural history - California - Pacific Coast
Earth Sciences - Geology
Nature Studies-General
Environmental Studies-Environment
Edition Description:
Trade Paper
California Natural History Guides
Series Volume:
Publication Date:
Grade Level:
183 color illustrations, 13 line illustr
7.5 x 4.75 in

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Related Subjects

Science and Mathematics » Environmental Studies » Environment
Science and Mathematics » Geology » General
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Textbooks » General

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