• Summary
  • Contents
  • Subject index

Geomorphology is the study of the Earth's diverse physical land surface features and the dynamic processes that shape these features. Examining natural and anthropogenic processes, The SAGE Handbook of Geomorphology is a comprehensive exposition of the fundamentals of geomorphology that examines form, process, and history in the discipline. Organized into four sections, the Handbook is an overview of foundations and relevance, including the nature and scope of geomorphology, the origins and development of geomorphology, the role and character of theory in geomorphology, the significance of models and abstractions to geomorphology; techniques and approaches, including geomorphological mapping, field observations and experimental design, remote sensing in geomorphology, quantifying rates of erosion, measuring fluid flows and sediment fluxes, dating surfaces and sediment, GIS in geomorphology, and modelling landforms and processes; process and environment, including rock weathering, the evolution of regolith, hill slopes, riverine environments, glacial environments, periglacial environments, coastal environments, desert environments, karst landscapes, environmental change and anthropogenic activity; and environmental change, including geomorphology and environmental management, geomorphology and society, and planetary geomorphology.

The Evolution of Regolith
The evolution of regolith

Regolith is humanity's interface with planet Earth. It makes up the uppermost skin of the terrestrial parts of the planet and consists of weathered rock, sediments, water, gases, biota and, more rarely, materials like lavas and ashes. Regolith covers all terrestrial landscapes with the exception of those where fresh rock crops out. The word ‘regolith’ derives from the Greek ‘blanket and rock’ and was coined by Merrill in 1897.

Regolith provides many of the resources used by people regardless of their economic status. Most obviously the regolith supports and nurtures plants, which in turn provide fodder and shelter for wildlife. Humans eat both, use timber and plants to build shelter, burn them for warmth and cooking and harvest animals ...

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