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Chapter 2: The Systems Approach
The Systems Approach
A system as a set of components and relationships between them, functioning to act as a whole, has been detectable in science and in thinking about landforms for more than a century. For geomorphology, it was formalized in 1962 when the benefits of an open systems approach were articulated. The approach has become integral to many aspects of landform science, has been accompanied by other conceptual developments, and has been succeeded by self-organizing systems with non-linear relationships and more uncertainty.
The idea of a system is not new: Newton wrote of the solar system, biologists have been concerned with living systems, geographers have implicitly used the systems concept since the early days of the subject (Gregory, 2000), and ...