- 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.
Chapter 31: Disturbance and Responses in Geomorphic Systems
Disturbance and Responses in Geomorphic Systems
For the average person landforms and landscapes are immutable; ‘solid as a rock’ or ‘old as dirt’ or at most ‘moving at a glacial pace’. Geomorphic change is, to most laypersons, too slow to notice, except when landscapes are palpably disturbed or shaped by humans or in the case of events such landslides, floods or storm erosion, which are seen as cataclysmic or catastrophic.
Of course, landforms and landscapes are actually in constant, though sometimes slow and subtle, flux. Processes operating at spatial scales from the atomic to the cosmic, at temporal scales from instantaneous to billions of years, and at rates and magnitudes ranging from almost inconceivably large and rapid to equally unimaginably ...