The topographic configuration of the continents plays a central role in the many facets of the Earth sciences. However, despite the utility of information concerning the height of various portions of the Earth’s surface in the past, reliable and quantitative reconstructions of paleoelevation or paleorelief have been sadly lacking. In the past 10 years or so this situation has begun to be turned around with the development and refinement of several new geochemical and thermodynamic techniques that are nicely reviewed in “PALEOALTIMETRY: Geochemical and Thermodynamic Approaches” volume 66 of the Reviews in Mineralogy and Geochemistry series. Despite this volume being...

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