An Aerial View of Geology.
Geology takes its time—a few million years. But there's one place where geological processes can occur before our eyes: the coast.
The Mississippi deposits sediment from 31 states into the Gulf of Mexico, creating the Delta, a crazy-quilt maze of islands, waterways and intricate channels. Violent Atlantic storms roar through the Outer Banks, changing the size and shape of barrier islands in an instant. The Pacific pounds against the shore, jack-hammering rocks into smithereens, carving California's dramatic coastal cliffs.
From San Padre Island on the Texas coast, to Louisiana's wetlands and Florida's tidal marshes, from North Carolina's Outer Banks to Chesapeake Bay, Cape Cod, the Maine Coast and the Great Lakes, from the Pismo Dunes, Big Sur and Point Reyes in California, to Desolation Sound in British Columbia to Yukatat Bay in Alaska, this is geology as you've never imagined it.
Award-winning aerial photographer Michael Collier piloted his single-engine Cessna thousands of miles around the edges of North America to bring back these stunning images of coastal landscapes. But Collier is also a geologist and a gifted science writer. His vivid text and clear captions tell how the action of waves, tides, wind and weather produce startling transformations.
Reading Over the Coasts you are left with a greater appreciation of nature's wonders as well as a deeper understanding of their creation.
"Geologist, photographer, author and pilot Collier presents a third volume of aerial photography (following Over the Mountains and Over the Rivers), this time examining coastal processes: how waves interact with promontories, dunes, sand spits, barrier islands and human constructions…The next section is regional, featuring the Gulf of Mexico, the Southern and Northern Atlantic, the Great Lakes, the Pacific and Alaska, explaining how these coastlines' formation affected the resulting landforms. Collier then looks at the human footprint: expensive beach houses built on impermanent barrier islands, artificial islands formed by dredging, hazardous runoff from industrial and residential development, and damaging recreational implements like dune buggies. Coastal wetlands make a familiar (dis)appearance; many have been lost forever to negligence and development, just as their enormous importance becomes clear…. Beautiful and informative…"
, School Library Journal
"Come fly along our North American coastal landscapes. Observe the results of the forces of tides, wind, waves, and weather in shaping them. This gorgeous book invites inquiry with its detailed and carefully selected images. The author is also a pilot, inviting readers to accompany him on his journeys to learn more about the geology of coastal areas and barrier islands. The text is stunningly enhanced with his color photography. He also introduces observers to the effects of human structures on coastal landforms."
National Science Teacher's Association
"Natural forces typically take their sweet time sculpting Earth's surface, sometimes millions of years. But where the land meets the sea, land can be shaped quickly, as revealed in dramatic, ever-changing scenery. In evocative words and stunning images, aerial photographer and geologist Michael Collier chronicles changes that have occurred—and are occurring—along North American coasts: the Atlantic, the Pacific, the Great Lakes and the Gulf of Mexico… The vivid text accompanying the beautiful photographs make Over the Coasts as much an informative geology primer as it is an attractive coffee-table book."