From sunny beaches where thousands escape the summer's 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 California's 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?
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.