Discovering the Geology of Baja California: Six Hikes on the Southern Gulf Coast
Baja California: wild, desolate, and a treasure-house of geological wonders. Along its ancient shorelines, careful observers can learn much about how the Gulf of California came into existence and what the future of the Baja California peninsula might be. For those who wish to unlock the mysteries of Baja California, geologist Markes Johnson offers the key. He has taken a body of technical research on the geology and paleontology of the region and made it accessible in plain language for anyone who visits the peninsula, whether for study or recreation. His book teaches general concepts in coastal geomorphology and tectonics, as well as the basic geological and natural history of the Gulf of California, in a conversive, intellectually stimulating fashion. Johnson's guide takes the form of six day-long hikes in the area of Punta Chivato on the east coast of the southern Baja California peninsula. Punta Chivato is presented as a microcosm of the entire region; it can enable visitors to better understand major themes in the natural history of the Gulf of California and its geological past. All of the hikes begin at the southeast corner of the Punta Chivato promontory and loop out in different directions. Each circuit is designed to minimize overlap with adjacent hikes and to maximize the visitor's exposure to instructive variations in the landscape. Each chapter features additional reflections on a geologist of another time and place who has advanced the field in a way that elucidates the material covered in that chapter. Through these asides, readers will learn the basic lessons about how geologists read the secrets hidden in landscapes. Discovering the Geology of Baja California invites visitors to these shores to explore not only rocks and fossils but also the continuum of past ecosystems with the ecology of the present. It offers both an unparalleled guide to a remote area and a new understanding of life caught in an endless cycle of change.
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America ancient andesite arroyo Atravesada Bahfa Santa Baja California Baja California peninsula Baja California Sur basalt Basin beach beds bivalves carbonate ramp Cerotito cliff face coast coastal cobbles Comondu conglomerate coral cross deposit dune East Pacific Rise edge El Muerto Ensenada Ensenada El Muerto eroded erosion escarpment exposed facies fault feet fossil geological geologist Grabau Guaymas Gulf of California igneous rocks inches Isla island land landscape layers limestone Maillet marine terrace Mesa Barracas Mesa El Coloradito miles million years ago Miocene molds Nicolaus Steno north shore ocean offshore oyster Pacific pebbles pecten plant Playa La Palmita Pleistocene Pliocene Punta Cacarizo Punta Chivato promontory Punta Mezquitito reef rhodolith ridge rise road rocky San Marcos Formation sand sandbar sandstone sea level seabed sediments shell shoreline side slope southwest species Steno strata stratigraphy streambed surface tectonic tombolo topographic unconformity valley volcanic waves wind