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Forces external to systems that result in system responses are known as forcing functions or drivers. These are responsible for environmental change that can occur over a range of timescales. Relief sets available energy and tectonic mobility can alter systems whilst exogenetic processes are in operation. Surface forces can be natural or human-induced and can cause change directly or indirectly. Whereas a direct forcing function or driver unequivocally influences systemprocesses, an indirect driver will operate more diffusely by altering one or more direct drivers.

From a geomorphological perspective, dated environmental drivers and changes include: tectonic activity; glacierisation, periglacial and other morphoclimatic systems beyond glacial limits; vegetation changes; eustatic sea level changes; and isostatic crustal adjustments. Characteristically these exhibit lagged relationships with landform responses, and ...

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