This unique addition to reference literature provides an introduction to the major concepts and contemporary issues that are essential for students of environmental science and environmental studies to know. With over 200 entries authored by world-class names like Anthony Brazel, John Day and Edward Keller, this text is divided into six sections: Environmental Science, Environments, Paradigms & Concepts, Processes & Dynamics, Scales & Techniques, and Environmental Issues.
Uniformitarianism is a major principle of the earth sciences and in particular geological sciences. Most simply stated, uniformitarianism states that the present is the key to the past. The idea is that basic physical, chemical and biological processes have operated for much of Earth's history. As a result, studying present-day processes can help interpret the geologic history. For example, if stream and river gravels are studied, along with how they are transported and what the deposits look like, the rock record allows an inference that similar-looking deposits were deposited by a river sometime in the past. This is true even if the deposits are found presently at the top of a mountain. For example, the top of Mount Everest is limestone, which forms in ...