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.  



When a particular characteristic of environment can arise as a result of different processes so that different initial conditions can lead to similar effects. It was defined by the originator of general systems theory (Ludwig von Bertalanffy, 1901–1972) and it has been argued that equifinality can characterize the behaviour of biological organisms, but it has also been applied in the study of landforms and is sometimes referred to as ‘convergence’.

For example, hillslopes can be similar in shape but be the product of very different assemblages of processes. Similarly tors on hilltops and slopes can arise as a result of either a sequence of processes involving deep tropical chemical weathering or as a result of frost action in periglacial conditions. However in this and other ...

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