A Coast to Explore: Coastal Geology and Ecology of Central California

Explore the origins of central California’s coast

From wave-cut rock cliffs and sea caves to gravel beaches and coastal dunes, California’s coastline provides visitors with unparalleled topographical variety and great intellectual challenge. What forces shaped such an extraordinary landscape?

Miles O. Hayes and Jacqueline Michel have been mapping the coast of California since the 1980s as part of a larger initiative to protect coastlines around the world from hazardous oil spills. A Coast to Explore is the culmination of their work. It details the geological evolution of central California’s coast from Bodega Bay to Point Conception, including the effects of erosion during El Niños, the impacts of tsunamis, the birth of the San Andreas Fault system, and the formation of spectacular raised marine terraces. Key ecological concepts are described for each of the major subdivisions of the coast.

Through diagrams, maps, full-color photographs, and satellite images, A Coast to Explore takes readers on a fascinating journey of discovery so they can better understand this most remarkable and varied of coastlines.

About the Authors

Miles O. Hayes and Jacqueline MichelDr. Miles O. Hayes is a renowned coastal geomorphologist with over fifty years of research experience. He has authored over 250 articles and reports and three books on topics relating to tidal hydraulics, river morphology, petroleum exploration, and more. He has taught at the Universities of Massachusetts and South Carolina and is considered to be the “Father of Coastal Geology.” He is chairman of the board of Research Planning, Inc.   Dr. Jacqueline Michel is an internationally recognized expert in oil and hazardous materials spill response and assessment, participating in numerous research projects across thirty-three countries. Since 1982 she has been a part of the Scientific Support Team to the U.S. Coast Guard. She is a member of the Ocean Studies Board at the National Academy of Sciences and is a lifetime associate of the National Academies. One of the original founders of Research Planning, Inc., she now serves as the company’s president.

Photo by Pandion Books