Abstract

The human population has been increasing exponentially. Simultaneously, as digging sticks and antlers have given way to wooden plows, iron spades, steam shovels, and today's huge excavators, our ability and motivation to modify the landscape by moving earth in construction and mining activities have also increased dramatically. As a consequence, we have now become arguably the premier geomorphic agent sculpting the landscape, and the rate at which we are moving earth is increasing exponentially. As hunter-gatherer cultures were replaced by agrarian societies to feed this expanding population, erosion from agricultural fields also, until recently, increased steadily. This constitutes an unintended additional human impact on the landscape.

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