- 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 4: The Role and Character of Theory in Geomorphology
The Role and Character of Theory in Geomorphology
In the earth sciences, …, the most notable advances are almost invariably associated with the construction of a theoretical model which, in a particularly symmetrical and harmonious manner, seems to embrace a large part of reality… the establishment of an appropriate theoretical model stimulates the imagination to such an extent that the scope of what is looked upon as “observed reality” is so enlarged that a new wealth of factual information becomes readily available.
(Chorley, 1963: 953)
The only true prisoners of theory are those that do not know it.
(Chorley, 1978: 1)
In a brief survey of a topic as profound and pervasive as theory, it is necessary to ...