As geomorphology is the study of the surface of the Earth, its form, evolution and the processes that sculpture it, so applied geomorphology can be defined as the application of this knowledge in the resolution of engineering, planning and environmental/resource management problems. It is a rapidly expanding and diverse field of enquiry and one that would be extremely difficult to adequately describe within the confines of a slim volume. It is not surprising, therefore, that the editors, in their preface, state that the purpose of the book “is not to codify a distinct set of methods and data that represent a branch of knowledge called ‘applied geomorphology’. Rather it is designed to show geomorphology as it is (and can be) applied to current problems facing the people of the world”. This they attempt to achieve by means of 16 contributions written by 33 authors, all but two from the USA, which represent the proceedings of the 11th Binghampton Geomorphology Symposium held in October 1980 at Kent State University, Ohio.
Published anthologies of conference papers are notoriously variable in terms of quality and coverage, and this is no exception. The book has no real structure, although the early papers do tend to focus on mapping and cataloguing, while the later papers deal with aspects of change. A general introductory chapter focuses on the need for more information on the rates of operation of geomorphological processes for environmental management purposes, and is followed by a descriptive paper which discusses the role of