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The World's Beaches: A Global Guide to the Science of the Shoreline

By: Orrin H Pilkey

283 pages, colour photos throughout, colour illustrations

University of California Press

Paperback | Jul 2011 | #189922 | ISBN-13: 9780520268722
Availability: Usually dispatched within 5 days Details
NHBS Price: £23.95 $29/€27 approx
Hardback | May 2011 | #189923 | ISBN-13: 9780520268715
Out of Print Details

About this book

Take this book to the beach; it will open up a whole new world. Illustrated throughout with color photographs, maps, and graphics, it explores one of the planet's most dynamic environments - from tourist beaches to Arctic beaches strewn with ice chunks to steaming hot tropical shores.

"The World's Beaches" tells how beaches work, explains why they vary so much, and shows how dramatic changes can occur on them in a matter of hours. It discusses tides, waves, and wind; the patterns of dunes, washover fans, and wrack lines; and the shape of berms, bars, shell lags, cusps, ripples, and blisters. What is the world's longest beach? Why do some beaches sing when you walk on them? Why do some have dark rings on their surface and tiny holes scattered far and wide? This fascinating, comprehensive guide also considers the future of beaches, and explains how extensively people have affected them - from coastal engineering to pollution, oil spills, and rising sea levels.

A comprehensive, readable guide to the physical features of many kinds of beaches and some of the threats they face.--New York Times "A well-illustrated introduction to the geology and ecology of beaches." Guardian


Dedication Page (Santa Aguila Foundation) PREFACE (ACKNOWLEDGMENTS) LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS LIST OF TABLES Part I: THE GLOBAL CHARACTER OF BEACHES Chapter 1: A WORLD OF BEACHES Beaches: Crossroads of History Beaches: Avenues of Commerce Beaches: Nature's Most Dynamic Environment Beaches: Varied Materials Beaches: Obstacle Courses Beaches: To Be or Not To Be Beaches: Comber's Delight or Nature's Trash Collector? Beaches: A Natural Laboratory Chapter 2: BEACHES OF THE WORLD What is a Beach? Recipe for Making a Beach Classification of Coasts and Beaches Classifications and a Global Model Beach Sediments and the Plate Tectonic Setting Beaches as Landforms Climate and Types of Coasts We Stand on Their Shoulders Chapter 3: OF WHAT ARE BEACHES MADE: SEDIMENTS Beach Sediments Grain Size, Sorting and Shape Grain Composition Terrigenous Sediments Heavy Minerals Carbonate Sediments Other Beach Materials Chapter 4: HOW BEACHES WORK: WAVES, CURRENTS, TIDES AND WIND The Most Dynamic Place on Earth Waves Wave Energy Wave Types Breakers Wave Refraction, Diffraction and Reflection Currents (Alongshore; Onshore; Offshore) Wave-Current-Sediment Interaction Tsunamis Tides Tides and Beach Groundwater# Other Water Level Changes Surges El Nino Wind The Global Picture Chapter 5: THE FORM OF THE BEACH: CRABS-EYE AND BIRDS-EYE VIEWS Beach Profiles: The Crab's Eye View Profile Changes Beach Plans: The Bird's Eye View Berms and Cusps Washover Fans Offshore Bars# Part II: HOW TO READ A BEACH Chapter 6: THE BEACH SURFACE UP-CLOSE: IMPRINTS OF TIDES, CURRENTS, AND WAVES Near-Shore, Beach, and Tidal Flat Features Ripple Marks Modified Ripple Marks Swash and Backwash Features Other Surface Features Chapter 7: ESCAPE FROM WITHIN: AIR AND WATER IN THE BEACH Knee Deep in Sand: Airy Beaches Air Escape Structures Watery Beaches and Water Escape Structures Chapter 8: WHICH EVER WAY THE WIND BLOWS: REWORKING THE BEACH SURFACE Wind on Wet Sand and Mud Wet-to-Dry Transition Structures Wind on Dry Sediment Dunes and Dune Structures Dune Plants: Surviving in a Desert Chapter 9: BEACH CREATURES: TRACKS, TRAILS, AND TRACES Beach Animals from Micro to Macro Macrofaunal Clues Molluscs (clams and snails) Crustaceans Chelicerata Polychaetes Other Invertebrate Animals Vetebrates Evidence of the Habitat Role of Animals Chapter 10: CARBONATE BEACHES: SEA SHELLS AND THE STORIES THEY TELL Carbonate Shells, Skeletons, and Secretions Other Carbonate Sediments Non-Calcareous Plant and Animal Remains Shell Abundance Where do Seashells Come From? The Significance of Broken Seashells Shell Rounding Orientation of Shells on the Beach Secondary Shell Color Shell Collecting: An Environmental Afterthought Chapter 11: DIGGING THE BEACH: INTO THE THIRD DIMENSION Bedding Black Sands and Cross Bedding Burrows and Bioturbation Part III: THE GLOBAL THREAT TO BEACHES Chapter 12: BEACHES AND PEOPLE Coastal Engineering Hard Stabilization Soft Stabilization Other Damaging Activities Water Pollution Oil Spills The Environmental Truths About Beaches Chapter 13: EPILOGUE The Urbanized Beach: From Middens to the Maelstrom of Development GLOSSARY REFERENCES

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Orrin H. Pilkey is the James B. Duke Professor of Earth and Ocean Sciences and Director Emeritus of the Program for the Study of Developed Shorelines at Duke University. He is the author of "A Celebration of the World's Barrier Islands", among other books.

William J. Neal is Emeritus Professor of Geology at Grand Valley State University and coauthor, with Orrin Pilkey, of "How to Read a North Carolina Beach: Bubble Holes, Barking Sands, and Rippled Runnels".

Joseph T. Kelley is a Professor of Marine Geology at the University of Maine and Chair of the Earth Science Department. He is a co-author with Orrin Pilkey and William Neal of "Atlantic Coast Beaches".

Andrew Cooper is Professor of Coastal Studies and head of Coastal Research in the School of Environmental Sciences at the University of Ulster in Northern Ireland.

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