Abstract

Fifty years after its publication, Lester King's Canons of Landscape Evolution is reviewed and is considered in light of subsequent trends and actual developments. Some of his ideas, such as the role of scarp recession and the antiquity of some surfaces, remain current. His broad view of the world and his interest in major relief anticipated trends that are now fashionable. Some of his interpretations, however, and in particular his downgrading of the importance of structural factors and his linking of scarp retreat and pedimentation, have not stood the test of time. Other concepts, such as the etch or two-stage origin of forms, which were mooted but not fully appreciated in King's day, have come to the forefront, and technological advances in dating and survey, particularly of the ocean floors, have signaled new perspectives in landscape interpretation. Nevertheless, King's was a courageous attempt to provide guidelines for landscape study.

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