“In this remarkable book, Shinn and Lidz walk the reader through the formation, present deterioration, and future fate of the Keys. Commenting on the human aspects of this curious strip of land along the way, the authors deliver a salient message: that modern environments can be used as analogs to better understand ancient Earth.”—Sam Purkis, professor and chair of the Department of Marine Geosciences, RSMAS, University of Miami
"A joy to read from two of the most prominent geologists who have worked for the better part of their careers in the Florida Keys. Places important environmental focus on modern-day issues facing the island ecosystems, the health of Florida Bay, the nearshore areas, and ultimately the reef tract."—Donald F. McNeill, University of Miami
“A compelling narrative that weaves fascinating historical personalities and periods with the geological characteristics of the Florida Keys into a colorful tapestry. A fun, interesting, and informative read!”—Eugene C. Rankey, University of Kansas
Two world-class geologists draw on their prolific fifty-year careers in this comprehensive guide to the geology and biology of the Florida Keys and Florida Bay.
Eugene Shinn and Barbara Lidz dive into the past, present, and future of an area that has long been a natural laboratory for learning about coral reef formation and the origins of limestone. They explain how underlying Pleistocene topography controls the shapes of today’s coral reefs, how sea-level rise created Florida Bay, and how hurricanes mold limemud banks and strip vegetation from the Florida Keys. They discuss the recent decline of coral reefs due to overpopulation, pollution, climate change, and other factors. An itinerary is included for a hands-on three-day field trip, guiding visitors to the best places to see the famous reef formations and geologic processes of the Keys.
As glaciers continue to melt and reform at Earth’s poles, sea level is currently rising and will fall again at some point in the geologic future. In this volume, Shinn and Lidz demonstrate the value of the Keys and immediate surroundings as an environmental laboratory to study past effects of sea-level change and to stimulate ideas for further research.
Eugene A. Shinn, courtesy professor of geological oceanography at the University of South Florida St. Petersburg, is the author of Bootstrap Geologist: My Life in Science. He is the recipient of the Twenhofel Medal, the highest award given by the Society for Sedimentary Geology. Barbara H. Lidz, a research geologist with the U.S. Geological Survey for more than thirty-five years, is currently scientist emerita with the U.S. Geological Survey Coastal and Marine Science Center in St. Petersburg, Florida.
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