This volume in the Encyclopedia of Earth Sciences Series appears as the first alphabetic, encyclopedic treatment of the science of Geomorphology -- the study of landscape and the geologic forces that produce it or, phrased another way, the dynamic geology of the face of the Earth. There are numerous definitions, but the book is far more than a glossary. There are 410 articles in all, and their authors include many specialists of international reputation. The hundreds of illustrations are an exceptional feature of the book.
While covering the usual scope of Geomorphology, this volume includes several features which are particularly noteworthy. One of these is an individual description of each of the world's more important lakes emphasizing their geographic unity. Stress has also been placed on the stratigraphy and climate of the Holocene, or Recent Epoch, and of the Quaternary Period in general, on the grounds that a historical understanding of those periods explains the inheritance aspect of landforms. The editor has recognized the need for balancing the presentation between the more classical or descriptive methodology and the more recent quantitative and dynamic approach.
Also, the significance of the Langbein-Schumm Rule in erosion-fluvial and terrace studies is repeatedly brought out. While a general reader will need no more background than a high school course in physical geography, specialists such as civil engineers, photogrammetrists, military geologists, hydrologists, soil scientists, limnologists, and ecologists will all find abundant reference value in this book. Both teachers and students of geomorphology and physical geography will find this Encylopedia an indispensable aid in their research and studies.
The extensive cross-reference system, which will be of great value to the researcher, has five components which refer the reader to related disciplines in another volume; from the alphabetical listing to a specific article; from the body of an article to a subject taken up in detail elsewhere in the volume; to related articles, and the literature citations at the end of each article.