Planation surfaces in China: one hundred years of investigation
By introduction of the erosional cycle theory of W. M. Davis, Bailey Willis, an American geologist, began pioneering work on planation surfaces in northern China between 1903 and 1904. He identified two surfaces. Subsequently, the study of planation surfaces in northern China was continued by both Western and Chinese scientists, and this stimulated similar research in other parts of China. However, in the 1930s and 1940s the study of planation surfaces all but stopped because of the Japanese invasion of China, the civil war that followed, and again during the period of the ‘Cultural Revolution’ between 1966 and 1976. In the early 1960s the cycle theory proposed by Davis was much criticized, and with it the concept of the planation surface. However, from the 1980s, after careful re-examination of former criticisms, geomorphologists realized that the early concepts did have value and began to restudy planation surfaces over the whole of China. The most interesting research has been on planation surfaces preserved in the area of the Tibetan Plateau, which relates to uplift of the plateau and its impact on the environment.
Figures & Tables
This book deals with various interesting aspects of the histories of geomorphology and Quaternary geology in different parts of the world. The papers cover a range of topics: the origin of the term ‘Quaternary’, histories of ideas and debates relating to aspects of fluvial geomorphology (USA and Australia), glacial geomorphology and glaciation (Northern Europe, the Baltic countries, Russia, Iceland, and New Zealand), desert dunes and the geology of Australia, peneplains in China, a palaeo-Tokyo Bay in Japan, together with biographies of Charles Cotton (New Zealand), Valerija Čepulytė (Lithuania) and Česlovas Pakuckas (Lithuania and Poland) that highlight their respective contributions to the disciplines of geomorphology and Quaternary geology. There is an autobiographical contribution from E. E. Milanovsky (Russia) on his work in Siberia, the Caucasus and Iceland, illustrated by his sketches made in the field.