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Chorley, Richard (1927–2002)

  • By: Colin Edward Thorn
  • In: Encyclopedia of Geography
  • Edited by: Barney Warf
  • Subject:General Geography, Earth & Environmental Science

Richard John Chorley was a transformative figure in late-20th-century geomorphology. Trained in geography at Oxford University, it was his experience in geology at Columbia University that truly sparked his numerous innovations. At Columbia, he was a student in the Arthur N. Strahler research group that produced so many stellar contributors to modern geomorphology. After brief stints as a junior faculty member in the United States, Chorley returned to Britain and pursued the remainder of his illustrious career at Cambridge University.

Chorley contributed to geography, geomorphology, and environmental sciences in both discrete and overlapping ways that may be seen as occupying at least four spheres. He was a central figure in fundamentally changing geomorphology from the qualitative discipline dominated by the Davisian erosional model. He was a ...

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