cover of book

Baja California's Coastal Landscapes Revealed: Excursions in Geologic Time and Climate Change
by Markes E. Johnson
University of Arizona Press, 2021
Paper: 978-0-8165-4252-9 | eISBN: 978-0-8165-4419-6
Library of Congress Classification QE203.B34J637 2021
Dewey Decimal Classification 557.22

Baja California is an improbably long and narrow peninsula. It thrusts out like a spear, parting the Mexican mainland from the Pacific Ocean. In his third installment on the Gulf of California’s coastal setting, expert geologist and guide Markes E. Johnson reveals a previously unexplored side to the region’s five-million-year story beyond the fossil coral reefs, clam banks, and prolific beds of coralline algae vividly described in his earlier books. Through a dozen new excursions, in Baja California’s Coastal Landscapes Revealed, Johnson returns to these yet wild shores to share his gradual recognition of another side to the region.

Johnson reveals a geologic history that is outside the temporal framework of a human lifetime and scored by violent storms. We see how hurricanes have shaped coastal landscapes all along the peninsula’s inner coast, a fascinating story only possible by disassembling the rocks that on first appraisal seem incomprehensible.

Looking closely, Johnson shows us how geology not only helps us look backward but also forward toward an uncertain future. The landscape Johnson describes may be apart from the rest of Mexico, but his expert eye reveals how it is influenced by the unfolding drama of Planet Earth’s global warming.
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