Atlantic Coast Beaches: A Guide to Ripples, Dunes, and Other Natural Features of the Seashore

Overview

At first glance, the beach may appear to be an endless, flat, monotone landscape meant only for swimming, snoozing, or working on your tan. Upon closer inspection, though, the beach reveals myriad treasures for the curious to locate, such as ephemeral beach ripples decorating the sand, traces of miniature organisms inscribed on dunes, and armored mudballs. Atlantic Coast beaches from Maine to Florida are full of amazing features formed by the interactions between tides, ...
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Overview

At first glance, the beach may appear to be an endless, flat, monotone landscape meant only for swimming, snoozing, or working on your tan. Upon closer inspection, though, the beach reveals myriad treasures for the curious to locate, such as ephemeral beach ripples decorating the sand, traces of miniature organisms inscribed on dunes, and armored mudballs. Atlantic Coast beaches from Maine to Florida are full of amazing features formed by the interactions between tides, currents, bedrock, weather, beach critters, and more.

Written for a general audience, this book covers everything from microscopic nematodes to the potentially cataclysmic changes occurring along the coastline due to rising sea level. Its clear writing, illustrative photographs, and instructive diagrams answer some interesting questions, such as why do some sands bark and sing, how do miniature sand volcanoes form, and how do barrier islands migrate?

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
For many of us, the beach is a sandy place in the sun, conveniently located near the surf. Atlantic Coast Beaches opens our minds to the natural wonders, some of them microscopic, of the seashore and its nearby waters. Written specifically for general readers, this beachcomber's companion provides fascinating details about coastline life and phenomena.
KLIATT - Janet Julian
Three geologists present ten chapters aimed at the general reader, lavishly illustrated with b/w photos and diagrams of the salient features of beaches from Maine to Florida. The clear text covers beach movements, hurricanes and tides, the evolution of barrier islands, sand dunes and shells. Readers also learn about barking and singing sand, fossils, vegetation, hot dogs, drumsticks and broken spits. The authors end with 15 ways to conserve a beach for future generations. Questions arise. What stories are told by a grain of sand? Are beaches an endangered species? Are beaches playgrounds or wildlife habitats? Are we currently saving beaches or killing them? Recommended for its literate and thorough text. Reviewer: Janet Julian
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780878425341
  • Publisher: Mountain Pr
  • Publication date: 5/28/2007
  • Pages: 250
  • Sales rank: 1,451,835
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Table of Contents


Preface: A Seashell Bias     ix
Geology of the Atlantic Coast     1
Different Kinds of Beaches     1
The Geologic Setting     6
The North-South Dichotomy     8
Continental Glaciation     10
Beach Movement     16
Time and the Beach: The Short Life of Sand Castles     17
Sea Level Rise: Time's Tide     21
Barrier Islands: Hot Dogs, Drumsticks, and Broken Spits     27
Beach Erosion and Accretion: Moving Beaches     42
Oceans In Motion     50
Perfect Storms: Hurricanes and Nor'easters     50
Beach Battle Zone: Tides, Waves, and Currents     57
The Tide     57
Storm Surge     59
Waves     60
Currents     63
Stories in a Grain of Sand     67
As Measureless as Sand on the Seashore: What Sand Grains Tell Us     67
Beach Sediment: Size, Shape, and Sorting     68
Common Minerals of the Beach: A Mineral Collection in a Handful of Sand     74
Mineral Stability     75
Black Sands: Pollution or Provenance?     80
Other Black Material     86
Beach Shape     90
The Shape of the Beach:Bars, Berms, and Troughs     91
Beach Terminology     92
Scarps and Cusps     96
The Sea's Cutting Edge: Wrack and Ruin     98
Shipwrecks: The Ultimate Wrack     104
Wave, Wind, and Current Ripple Marks     105
Can You Read a Beach?     113
Sea Suds: Froth, Foam, and Phantom Marks     113
To-and-Fro on the Beach: Swash, Backwash, and Wind Structures     119
Diamond Patterns and Zebra Stripes     122
Layers in a Ditch: What's Under the Beach?     127
Pages of Time: Beach Layers     127
Bioturbation     130
Bubbly Beaches: Holes, Blisters, Pits, and Rings     132
Make Your Own Structures     140
Holes and Critters     141
Knee-Deep in Sand: Soft Sand     142
Leaky Beaches: Groundwater in the Beach     145
Squeaky Beaches: Barking and Singing Sand     150
Booming Sand     152
Leave Only Your Footprints: Burrows, Tracks, and Trails     152
Beach Critters: Little Ones and Big Ones     154
Beach Traces     155
Beach-Dune Transition     160
The Solution to the Mystery     162
Shells      163
Recently Alive or Long Dead? Beach Fossils     164
Other Fossils and Artifacts     168
Staining and Rounding: More Than Meets the Eye     169
Preferred Orientation: Hydrodynamics and Aerodynamics     173
Dunes and Winter Beaches     175
Dunes: Banked Sand     175
Beaches and Dunes     175
Vegetation and Dunes     180
Active Dunes     184
Plant Succession     186
Dunes and Beaches     189
Winter Beaches: Frozen Features of the North     190
Saving Beaches or Killing Them?     196
Concrete Beaches: The Suburbanized Shore     197
Why Hard Stabilization is Bad for Beaches     200
Sea Bright, New Jersey     201
Obstructions on the Beach     203
Artificial Beaches and Dunes: Virtual Reality?     204
Artificial Dunes     217
Beach Bulldozing and Sweeping     219
How Beach Resorts Age: The Evolution of Beach Communities     220
Epilogue     225
The Future of Beaches: Are Beaches an Endangered Species?     226
Fifteen Ways to Conserve a Beach for Future Generations     228
Glossary     231
References      238
Index     240
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