Discovering the rates at which landscapes change and the causes of these changes is a key current focus in geoscientific, environmental, ecological and archaeological research. The mechanisms are intricate involving many components - a complex of positive and negative feedback mechanisms, and scales varying from the solar system and global tectonics to the activities of microscopic organisms. In this book Andrew Goudie draws together the findings of many disparate disciplines (and of his own research) to present a coherent and structured account of what is known and what remains to be discovered about change and the variable rate of change in the shape and environment of the earth's surface. This is not a research monograph but a research synthesis presented in terms comprehensible to workers in a wide range of disciplines.
Over the past twenty years, geography as an academic discipline has become more and more reflective, asking the key questions 'What are we doing?' 'Why are we doing it?'. These questions have, so far, been more enthusiastically taken up by human geography rather than physical geography. Contemporary Meanings in Physical Geography aims to redress the balance. Written and edited by a distinguished group of physical geographers, Contemporary Meanings in Physical Geography comprises of a collection of international writer's thoughts which reveal personal motivations, and look at tensions in the worlds of meaning in which physical geography is involved. How are the meanings of the physical environment derived? Is the future of physical geography one where the only, or at least the dominant, meanings are framed in the contexts of environmental issues. Covering a diverse and lively selection of topics, the contributors of this book offer guides to the contemporary debates in the philosophy of physical geography, and introduce the reader to its wider cultural significance. This book is an essential companion to anyone studying, or with an interest in, physical geography.
Geomorphology is the study of the Earth's diverse physical land-surface features and the dynamic processes that shape these features. Examining natural and anthropogenic processes, The SAGE Handbook of Geomorphology is a comprehensive exposition of the fundamentals of geomorphology that examines form, process, and applications of the discipline. Organized into five substantive sections, the Handbook is an overview of: • Foundations and Relevance: including the nature and scope of geomorphology; the origins and development of geomorphology; the role and character of theory in geomorphology; geomorphology and environmental management; and geomorphology and society • Techniques and Approaches: including observations and experiments; geomorphological mapping; the significance of models; process and form; dating surfaces and sediment; remote sensing in geomorphology; GIS in geomorphology; biogeomorphology; human activity • Process and Environment: including the evolution of regolith; weathering; fluids, flows and fluxes; sediment transport and deposition; hill slopes; riverine environments; glacial geomorphology; periglacial environments; coastal environments; aeolian environments; tropical environments; karst and karst processes • Environmental Change: including landscape evolution and tectonics; interpreting quaternary environments; environmental change; disturbance and responses to geomorphic systems • Conclusion: including challenges and perspectives; and a concluding review The Handbook has contributions from 48 international authors and was initially organized by the International Association of Geomorphologists. This will be a much-used and much-cited reference for researchers in Geomorphology, Physical Geography and the Environmental Sciences.
This book provides a detailed coverage of the landforms of Planet Earth and the processes that shaped them. The study of these morphologies, some of which formed during past geological periods under environmental conditions very different from those of today, makes it possible to reconstruct the evolution of relief and to infer environmental changes that have involved geological media, the climate, or human activity. A major advance of Geomorphology in recent decades is the development of techniques that make it possible to quantify morphogenetic processes and rates at which forms change under different environmental conditions. The development of Geochronology, or absolute dating methods, is helping us correct the limitations of relative dating that have prevailed in Geomorphology for many years. The ability to assign numerical ages to both landforms and deposits opens up multiple possibilities for reconstructing the evolution of relief, making correlations, calculating rates, and estimating recurrence periods. A theme of major concern facing people today is the possible warming of the planet due to the release of greenhouse gases into the environment. Investigations conducted by the scientific community show that this temperature increase is at least partially anthropogenic. Given this more-than-probable cause and effect relationship, the most sensible and prudent path is to design and apply mitigation measures to alleviate this heating that can negatively affect both the natural environment and human society. The information that Geomorphology can provide on the recent past (Historical Geomorphology) may be very useful in making predictions on the activity of these potentially dangerous processes in the future and on the possible effects of environmental changes. The aim of this book is to provide a general vision of the multiple aspects of Geomorphology and to provide a methodological foundation to approach the study of various branches of geomorphology. To this end, the book contains a basic bibliography that can be used for future research. In addition, applied aspects of Geomorphology are covered at the end of each chapter to provide knowledge of the activities of geomorphologists in the professional world.
This book investigates the Upper Silesian Coal Basin (USCB), one of the oldest and largest mining areas not only in Poland but also in Europe. Using uniform research methods for the whole study area, it also provides a summary of the landscape transformations. Intensive extraction of hard coal, zinc and lead ores, stowing sands and rock resources have caused such extensive transformations of landscape that it can be considered a model anthropogenic relief. The book has three main focuses: 1) Identifying anthropogenic forms of relief related to mining activity and presenting them from a spatial, genetic and age perspective; 2) Determining the changes in the morphometric characteristics of relief and the conditions for matter circulation in open systems (drainage basins) and closed systems (land-locked basins) caused by the extraction of mineral resources; and 3) Estimating the extent of anthropogenic denudation using two different methods based on raw-material output and morphometric analysis. In Poland, no other mining area has undergone such intensive mining activity as the Upper Silesian Coal Basin during the last half century. Its share in the total extraction of mineral resources was as high as 32%. The total extraction of hard coal in the Upper Silesian Coal Basin from the mid-18th century until 2009 was the sixth largest in the world, and the permanent, regional effects of mining anthropopressure on the relief are among the most severe in the world. The anthropogenic denudation rate in the Upper Silesian Coal Basin, as well as the Ruhr Coal Basin (Ruhr District) and the Ostrava-Karvina Coal Basin, ranges from several dozen up to several hundred times higher than the rate of natural denudation, irrespective of the calculation method used. It would take the natural denudation processes tens of thousands of years to remove the same amount of material from the substratum as that removed through human mining activity.
This fourth volume of five from the June 1997 conference was much delayed (the first four volumes were published in 1997). It comprises 23 special lectures solicited for the conference on various aspects of problematic soils, natural and man-made hazards, urban and regional planning, waste disposal, mines and quarries, large engineering works, and protection of geological, geographical, historical, and architectural heritage. There is no subject index. Annotation copyrighted by Book News Inc., Portland, OR
Introduction to Process Geomorphology provides an integrative approach to the process dynamics and the origin of landforms by the contemporary processes involved in their evolution. The author highlights the physical and chemical laws governing the activity of the earth-surface processes in specific environmental stress conditions, puts forward competing hypotheses on the evolution of landforms, and discusses the bases of internal geologic processes for the explanation of the tectogenic features of the earth. Landforms evolve over a long period of cyclic and geologic time, inheriting the imprints of past process rates and/or process domains. The principles and methods of evaluating the signature of environmental change are highlighted in the text by citing suitable studies. The process-form relationships provide the building blocks also for the optimum utilization of the land resources of the earth, and quantitative assessment of the stability of geomorphic systems and the quality of environment. The approach in this part of the text enables readers to gain an in-depth understanding of the application of the principles of geomorphology to the evaluation, planning, and management of the earth’s resources for sustainable development. This book discusses process dynamics in quantitative terms and reviews theories on the evolution of landforms that flow from theoretical and empirical data. It offers examples and case studies that enable students to comprehend the related components of process-landform relationships. The review and synthesis of information found in each chapter provides a better understanding of the complexity of still inadequately understood process activities and the manner of landform evolution.
Late Quaternary Environmental Change addresses the interaction between human agency and other environmental factors in the landscapes, particularly of the temperate zone. Taking an ecological approach, the authors cover the last 20,000 years during which the climate has shifted from arctic severity to the conditions of the present interglacial environment.