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Author Keith Heyer Meldahl to Lecture, Sign Books at Santa Ynez Historical Society Event

Keith Heyer Meldahl

The Santa Ynez Valley Natural History Society presents an evening with noted author and geologist Keith Heyer Meldahl, who will give an illustrated talk on the topic of his latest book, titled Surf, Sand, and Stone: How Waves, Earthquakes, and Other Forces Shape the Southern California Coast.

This lecture and book-signing will be held at 7 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 12, 2015 in the Legion Wing of the Veterans Memorial Hall, located at 1745 Mission Drive in Solvang.

Surf, Sand, and Stone, which was just published this month by University of California Press, tells the scientific story of the Southern California coast.

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.

"Over geologic time, beaches come and go, coastal bluffs retreat, and the sea rises and falls. Nothing about Southern California’s coast is stable," said Meldahl, whose book reminds us that 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, push up mountains and islands and lift sections of coastline high above the sea. 

Meldahl is professor of geology and oceanography at MiraCosta College and the author of two other popular books, Hard Road West: History and Geology along the Gold Rush Trail (University of Chicago Press, 2007) and Rough-Hewn Land: A Geologic Journey from California to the Rocky Mountains (University of California Press, 2011). 

In his spare time, he plays guitar in a classic rock band and enjoys hiking and exploring throughout California and the Western U.S.

— John Evarts represents the Santa Ynez Valley Natural History Society

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