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Book Chapter

Equilibrium in the balance? Implications for landscape evolution from dryland environments

By
Louise J. Bracken
Louise J. Bracken
1
Department of Geography
,
University of Durham
,
Durham DH1 3LE
,
UK
email: l.j.bracken@durham.ac.uk
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John Wainwright
John Wainwright
2
Sheffield Centre for International Drylands Research, Department of Geography
,
University of Sheffield
,
Winter Street, Sheffield S10 2TN
,
UK
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Published:
January 01, 2008

Abstract

Equilibrium is a central concept in geomorphology. Despite the widespread use of the term, there is a great deal of variability in the ways equilibrium is portrayed and informs practice. Thus, there is confusion concerning the precise meanings and usage of the concept. In this chapter we draw on examples from dryland environments to investigate the practical implications of applying and testing the concept of equilibrium. Issues that we cover include the importance of scale and spatial variability, time, the assumption of constant environmental feedbacks and nonlinearities. The evaluation demonstrates that there are a range of problems inherent with using ideas of geomorphological equilibrium explicitly or implicitly to structure research in drylands. Many of these problems also apply to other environments.

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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
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S. J. Jones
S. J. Jones
University of Durham
,
UK
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J. Wainwright
J. Wainwright
University of Sheffield
,
UK
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Geological Society of London
Volume
296
ISBN electronic:
9781862395442
Publication date:
January 01, 2008

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