Landscapes and Geomorphology: A Very Short Introduction

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OUP Oxford, Aug 26, 2010 - History - 137 pages
What were the landscapes of the past like? What will landscapes look like in the future? Landscapes are all around us, but most of us know very little about how they have developed, what goes on in them, and how they react to changing climates, tectonics and human activities. Examining what landscape is, and how we use a range of ideas and techniques to study it, Andrew Goudie and Heather Viles demonstrate how geomorphologists have built on classic methods pioneered by some great 19th century scientists to examine our Earth. Using examples from around the world, including New Zealand, the Tibetan Plateau, and the deserts of the Middle East, they examine some of the key controls on landscape today such as tectonics and climate, as well as humans and the living world. They also discuss some key 'landscape detectives' from the past, including Charles Darwin who did some important, but often overlooked, research on landscape. Concluding with the cultural importance of landscape, and exploring how this has led to the conservation of much 'earth heritage', they delve into the future and look at how we can predict the response of landscapes to climate change in the future. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.

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User Review  - Steve38 - LibraryThing

One of the 'Very Short Introduction' series aimed at students. I've seen them in bookshops but not tried one before. It fulfills its purpose well. A readable review of the subject. Quite obviously ... Read full review


1 The changing landscape
2 The present is the key to the past
3 Studying landscapes today
4 Landscapes tectonics and climate
5 Living landscapes
6 Landscapes and us
7 Landscapes of the future
8 Landscapes art and culture
9 Unseen landscapes
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About the author (2010)

Andrew Goudie is a Professor of Geography in the University of Oxford and Master of St Cross College. He has worked on many aspects of geomorphology including deserts, the effects of climate change, the links between geomorphology and archaeology, and the conservation of sites ofgeomorphological interest. Heather Viles is a geographer working in the University of Oxford, who teaches geomorphology to undergraduates and masters' level students, and researches on biological influences on geomorphology and the weathering of rocks and building stones. She is currently carryingout research in the Drakensberg Mountains, South Africa, the Namib desert, ruined ancient monuments in England, and is trying to simulate the weathering of rocks on the planet Mars in the laboratory.

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