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The terms proglacial and periglacial are well-understood descriptors of contemporary and past environments, but the paraglacial concept is more controversial and has prompted vigorous debate. Definitions are reviewed and the paraglacial concept is considered critically. It is argued that the term ‘paraglacial’ defined as ‘non-glacial processes conditioned by glaciation’ describes landscapes that are adjusted neither to Last Glacial Maximum nor to contemporary geomorphic processes. Where a landscape is paraglacial it can be characterized in terms of rate of change and trajectory of that change. It cannot be defined in relation to glaciers (as in proglacial) or by cold-climate processes...

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