Skip to Main Content
Book Chapter

The Earth's dynamic surface: an overview

By
Kerry Gallagher
Kerry Gallagher
1
Géosciences Rennes, Université de Rennes 1
,
Campus de Beaulieu, Rennes, 35042
,
France
email: kerry.gallagher@univ-rennes1.fr
Search for other works by this author on:
Stuart Jones
Stuart Jones
2
Department of Earth Sciences
,
South Road, Durham University
,
Durham DH1 3LE
,
UK
Search for other works by this author on:
John Wainwright
John Wainwright
3
Sheffield Centre for International Drylands Research, Department of Geography
,
University of Sheffield
,
Sheffield S10 2TN
,
UK
Search for other works by this author on:
Published:
January 01, 2008

Abstract

Debate about the relative roles of catastrophic v. continuous processes of landform evolution is as old as the discipline of Earth Science itself. Over the last 10 years or so, research in the Earth Sciences has focussed strongly on the Earth's surface and particularly in terms of quantifying rates of processes. This research parallels developments in geomorphology and sedimentology in the quantification of surface processes since the 1950s and 1960s. These surface processes are the manifestation of the large-scale interaction of climate and tectonics operating over a wide range of spatial and temporal scales. Thus, recent research had required integration of the historically distinct subjects of geomorphology, sedimentology, climatology and tectonics. Partly as a cause and partly as a consequence of this integration, there have been many recent developments in quantitative modelling and both laboratory and field-based analytical tools. Together, these have provided new insights into absolute and relative rates of denudation, and the factors that control the many dynamic processes involved.

One of the outstanding issues concerns the balance between tectonics, climate and denudation, and in particular the limiting effects of one on the others and the nature of dynamic feedback mechanisms. The fact that processes can be considered catastrophic or continuous, depending on the timescale of observation or interest, can hinder the predictability of models, depending on how they are formulated. Certain conditions may lead to a steady-state situation in which denudation balances tectonic uplift, leading to a more or less constant topography. Steady-state topography means that detailed study

You do not currently have access to this article.

Figures & Tables

Contents

Geological Society, London, Special Publications

Landscape Evolution: Denudation, Climate and Tectonics over Different Time and Space Scales

K. Gallagher
K. Gallagher
Université de Rennes
,
France
Search for other works by this author on:
S. J. Jones
S. J. Jones
University of Durham
,
UK
Search for other works by this author on:
J. Wainwright
J. Wainwright
University of Sheffield
,
UK
Search for other works by this author on:
Geological Society of London
Volume
296
ISBN electronic:
9781862395442
Publication date:
January 01, 2008

References

Related

Citing Books via

Close Modal
This Feature Is Available To Subscribers Only

Sign In or Create an Account

Close Modal
Close Modal