OREGON STATE UNIVERSITY

New book focuses on life along Northwest coastlines

02/24/1998

CORVALLIS - A new book offering a comprehensive look at living along the coasts of Oregon and Washington could help residents who are keeping a weather eye on the effects of El Nino in the Pacific Northwest.

"The Pacific Northwest Coast: Living with the Shores of Oregon and Washington," has just been published by Duke University Press. Written by Oregon State University professor Paul Komar, the publication serves as a source of information about the geology of the Pacific Northwest and the natural responses of beaches and cliffs to ocean processes and erosion.

"It's written for the layman," said Komar, who is on the faculty of OSU's College of Oceanic and Atmospheric Sciences. Komar said the book attempts to help people gain the knowledge needed to find a safe home near the coast, while at the same time preserving the environment.

The book devotes an entire chapter to the powerful El Nino of 1982-83 and includes pictures from the early days of coastal development, up through the present. There are also drawings and charts that trace the natural development and erosion of beaches.

Using data gathered from his years of research into coastal erosion, Komar traces the areas that are most susceptible to erosion problems and discusses practices that hasten the erosion.

Komar also analyzes past projects that have gone wrong, such as the notorious failure of a construction project on the bluffs at Jump-Off Joe landslide in Newport, Ore.

In addition to coastal erosion, the book also discusses the seasons and climate of the Northwest Coast, ocean wave generation, tsunamis hazards and formation of the Northwest estuaries and sand dunes.

"The Pacific Northwest Coast: Living with the Shores of Oregon and Washington," is part of the Duke University Press Living with the Shore series, which includes books on Alaska, California and the Puget Sound. The paperback, which includes more than 50 illustrations and maps, is $18.95.