How to Read a Florida Gulf Coast Beach

A Guide to Shadow Dunes, Ghost Forests, and Other Telltale Clues from an Ever-Changing Coast

By Tonya Clayton

228 pp., 6 x 9, 111 halftones, 8 color on 4-pg insert, bibl., index

  • Paperback ISBN: 978-0-8078-7218-5
    Published: April 2012
  • eBook ISBN: 978-0-8078-8253-5
    Published: April 2012

Southern Gateways Guides

Buy this Book

Come explore the geology of Florida's Gulf Coast beaches, from a bird's-eye view down to a crab's-eye view. You'll journey from Panhandle sugar-sand beaches to southwestern shell beaches, taking a fresh look at the ever-changing landscape. With Tonya Clayton as your guide, you'll learn how to recognize the stories and read the clues of these dynamic shores, reshaped daily by winds, waves, and sometimes bulldozers or dump trucks.

This dynamic tour begins with a broad description of Florida's Gulf Coast, roaming from popular Perdido Key in the northwest to remote Cape Sable in the south. You'll first fly over large-scale coastal features such as the barrier islands, learning to spot signs of the many processes that shape the shores. In subsequent chapters you'll visit dunes and beaches to check out sand ripples, tracings, and other markings that show the handiwork of beach breezes, ocean waves, animal life, and even raindrops and air bubbles. You'll also encounter signs of human shaping, including massive boulder structures and sand megatransfers. With a conversational style and more than a hundred illustrations, How to Read a Florida Gulf Coast Beach makes coastal science accessible, carrying vacationers and Florida natives alike on a lively, informative tour of local beach features.

Southern Gateways Guide is a registered trademark of the University of North Carolina Press

About the Author

Tonya Clayton is a freelance science writer and editor.
For more information about Tonya Clayton, visit the Author Page.

Reviews

“Tonya Clayton loves her subject and respects her readers. Her prose is clear, sinuous and delightful. Her transformation of scientific information into an accessible guide for the beach-loving non-specialist is a total success. . . .It’s a book all Gulf Coast residents and visitors should have handy in order to fully savor and revere the unique joys at the water’s edge.”--Florida Weekly

“Clayton loves her subject and respects her readers. Her prose is clear, sinuous and delightful. Her transformation of scientific information into an accessible guide for the beachloving non-specialist is a total success.”--Florida Weekly

"With a conversational style and more than a hundred illustrations How to Read a Florida Gulf Coast makes coastal science accessible."--Coastal Care

“With an easy style and more than a hundred illustrations, How to Read a Florida Gulf Coast Beach invites vacationers and residents alike to see and enjoy [Florida’s] beaches in a new way.”--Harbor Happenings

“A delight to read.”--The Understory

"An excellent guide to Florida's Gulf Coast environment. As well as being a primer on coastal processes, the book conveys some important environmental messages. It will not only fill a niche in beach-goers' reading, but will also spark a greater sense of concern about the future of these beaches."--William J. Neal, Grand Valley State University