The Scientific Ideas of G. K. Gilbert
G. K. Gilbert’s geomorphology
Published:January 01, 1980
R. J. CHORLEY, R. P. BECKINSALE, 1980. "G. K. Gilbert’s geomorphology", The Scientific Ideas of G. K. Gilbert, Ellis L. Yochelson
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The scientific origins of Gilbert’s geomorphic model are explored, and the distinctive character of that model is compared with that of the rival model of W. M. Davis, with special importance being given to the role of negative feedback by Gilbert. The early development of Gilbert’s ideas (1871, 1875a, 1876) are treated, culminating in a detailed analysis of his classic work on the Henry Mountains (1877). His later work on coastal geomorphology, notably with reference to Lake Bonneville (1881, 1890) and on glacial geomorphology, showed a continuing preoccupation with the relations between form and process. An analysis of geomorphic work since World War II highlights the overriding importance of Gilbert’s recent influence, particularly over the application of systems philosophy to the environmental sciences.