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

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

by William J. Neal, Joseph Kelley, Orrin Pilkey, Joseph T. Kelley
     
 

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ISBN-10: 0878425349

ISBN-13: 9780878425341

Pub. Date: 05/28/2007

Publisher: Mountain Press Publishing Company, Inc.

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

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?

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780878425341
Publisher:
Mountain Press Publishing Company, Inc.
Publication date:
05/28/2007
Pages:
250
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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