Paleontology Talk: Surf, Sand, and Stone

Friday, January 12, 2018 - 10:00am


How Waves, Earthquakes, and Other Forces Shape the Southern California Coast

Keith H. Meldahl, Ph.D.

Join the Anza-Borrego Paleontology Society on January 12, 10:00 am-Noon for a talk by Keith Meldahl.

Location: Steele/Burnand Anza-Borrego Desert Research Center at 401 Tilting T Drive, Borrego Springs.

Southern California is sandwiched between two tectonic plates that grind relentlessly past one another. Over the last several million years, movements of these plates have dramatically reshuffled the Earth’s crust to create rugged landscapes and seascapes riven with active faults. Movement along the faults triggers earthquakes and tsunamis, pushes up mountains and islands, and lifts sections of coastline high above the sea. Over geologic time, beaches come and go, coastal bluffs retreat, and the sea rises and falls. Nothing about Southern California’s coast is stable.

Surf, Sand, and Stone tells the scientific story of the Southern California coast: its mountains, bluffs, beaches, islands, waves, earthquakes, and related phenomena. It takes readers from San Diego to Santa Barbara, revealing the evidence for how the coast's features came to be and how they are continually evolving. With a compelling narrative and clear illustrations, Surf, Sand, and Stone suggests how the coast will change in the future and how we can best prepare.

Keith Meldahl is Professor of Geology and Oceanography at Mira Costa College and the author of two popular books, Hard Road West (University of Chicago Press, 2007) and Rough-Hewn Land (University of California Press, 2011).  Keith earned his BA in geology from the University of Chicago (1983) and his MS (1986) and PhD (1990) in geology from the University of Arizona.  For fun, he plays guitar in assorted musical groups, and enjoys bodysurfing, camping, and exploring throughout California and the western U.S.