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The Basics of Geomorphology

The Basics of Geomorphology
Key Concepts

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November 2014 | 248 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd

"I can think of no better guides than Professors Ken Gregory and John Lewin to lead the reader through the conceptual basis of this exciting science."
- Victor R. Baker, University of Arizona

"A very readable and informative introduction to the discipline for senior undergraduates, postgraduates and researchers."
- Angela Gurnell, Queen Mary University of London

"Time will tell, but this book may well mark a turning point in the way students and scientists alike perceive Earth surface processes and landforms."
- Jonathan Phillips, University of Kentucky

This student focused book provides a detailed description and analysis of the key concepts, ideas, and hypotheses that inform geomorphology.

Kenneth Gregory and John Lewin explain the basics of landform science in 20 concepts, each the subject of a substantive, cross-referenced entry. They use the idea of the 'geomorphic system' to organise entries in four sections, with extensive web resources provided for each:
  • System Contexts: The Systems Approach / Uniformitarianism / Landform / Form, Process and Materials / Equilibrium / Complexity and Non Linear Dynamical Systems
  • System Functioning: Cycles and cascades / Force-Resistance / Geomorphic work / Process Form Models
  • System Adjustments: Timescales / Forcings / Change Trajectories / Inheritance and Sensitivity / Anthropocene
  • Drivers for the Future: Geomorphic Hazards / Geomorphic Engineering / Design and Prediction

Aligned with the teaching literature, this innovative text provides a fully-functioning learning environment for study, revision, and even self-directed research for both undergraduate and postgraduate students of geomorphology.

Introduction: Concepts and Geomorphology
SECTION A System contexts
The Systems Approach
Form, Process and Materials
Complexity and non linear dynamical systems
SECTION B System Functioning
Geomorphic work
Process form models
SECTION C System Adjustments
Change trajectories
The ‘Anthropocene’
SECTION D Drivers for the Future
Geomorphic Hazards
Geomorphic Engineering
Prediction and Design
The Concept of Geomorphology


The text is a good overview of the main principles underpinning the study of landforms and processes. It is well structured and it clearly explains concepts that are abstract in terms that students can understand, with examples that are relevant to applied aspects of the discipline. It creates a strong sense of the history of geomorphology and its future developments. It is well pitched at undergraduate students and highly recommended for those studying geomorphology and physical geography.

Dr Iain Cross
Geography , St Mary's University, Twickenham
November 25, 2015

"Key concepts - the basics of geomorphology" is a nice and concise summary of the topic. The combination with the web resources in innovative, however, some more references in the printed text would have been good. What I like specifically is the systems context (section A) and the system adjustments (section C). This is a clear difference to classical works of other scholars. The price-performance ratio makes it also affordable for the students. Highly recommended.

Professor Sven Fuchs
Institute of Mountain Risk Engineering, University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences
April 1, 2015

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ISBN: 9781473905757
ISBN: 9781473905740

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