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Earth Environments: Past, Present and Future, 2nd Edition





Earth Environments: Past, Present and Future, 2nd Edition

David Huddart, Tim Stott

ISBN: 978-1-119-41325-7 October 2019 Wiley-Blackwell 1056 Pages

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Comprehensive coverage of the whole Earth system throughout its entire existence and beyond

Complete with a new introduction by the authors, this updated edition helps provide an understanding of the past, present, and future processes that occur on and in our Earth—the fascinating, yet potentially lethal, set of atmospheric, surface, and internal processes that interact to produce our living environment. It introduces students to our planet’s four key interdependent systems: the atmosphere, lithosphere, hydrosphere and biosphere, focusing on their key components, the interactions between them, and environmental change. The book also uses geological case studies throughout, in addition to the modern processes.

Topics covered in the Second Edition of Earth Environments: Past, Present and Future include: an Earth systems model; components systems and processes; atmospheric systems; oceanography; surface and internal geological systems; biogeography; and aspects of Earth's record. The book also discusses the impact of climate and environmental change in a final chapter that draws together Earth's systems and their evolution, and looks ahead to potential future changes in Earth’s environments.

  • Updated to include all the major developments since 2008
  • Features research boxes containing summaries based on recent key journal articles
  • Includes a companion web site containing multiple choice revision quizzes for students, PowerPoint slides for lecturers, useful links, and more
  • Presents further reading for each topic so that students can build their knowledge base to underpin their own undergraduate research project/dissertation
  • Offers additional case studies in each chapter for enhanced reader understanding

Earth Environments: Past, Present and Future is an excellent text for undergraduates in geosciences, environmental science, physical geography, natural hazards, and ecology.


Section I Introduction to Earth Systems

1 Introduction to Earth Systems

1.1 Introduction to Earth’s Formation

1.2 Introduction to Earth Spheres

1.3 Scales in Space and Time

1.4 Systems and Feedback

1.5 Open and Closed Flow Systems

1.6 Equilibrium in Systems

1.7 Time Cycles in Systems

Section II Atmospheric and Ocean Systems

2 Structure and Composition of the Atmosphere

2.1 Structure of the Atmosphere

2.2 Composition of the Atmosphere

3 Energy in the Atmosphere and the Earth Heat Budget

3.1 Introduction

3.2 Solar Radiation

4 Moisture in the Atmosphere

4.1 Introduction

4.2 The Global Hydrological Cycle

4.3 Air Stability and Instability

4.4 Clouds

4.5 Precipitation

5 Atmospheric Motion

5.1 Introduction

5.2 Atmospheric Pressure

5.3 Winds and Pressure Gradients

5.4 The Global Pattern of Atmospheric Circulation

6 Weather Systems

6.1 Introduction

6.2 Macroscale Synoptic Systems

6.3 Meso-Scale: Local Winds

6.4 Microclimates

6.5 Weather Observation and Forecasting

7 World Climates

7.1 Introduction

7.2 Classification of Climate

8 Ocean Structure and Circulation Patterns

8.1 Introduction

8.2 Physical Structure of the Oceans

8.3 Temperature Structure of the Oceans

8.4 Ocean Circulation

8.5 Sea-Level Change

9 Atmospheric Evolution

9.1 Evolution of Earth’s Atmosphere

10 Principles of Climate Change

10.1 Introduction

10.2 Evidence for Climate Change

10.3 Causes of Climate Change

Section III Endogenic Geological Systems

11 Earth Materials: Mineralogy, Rocks and the Rock Cycle

11. What Is a Mineral?

11.2 Rocks and the Rock Cycle

11.3 Vulcanicity and Igneous Rocks

11.4 Sedimentary Rocks, Fossils and Sedimentary Structures

11.5 Metamorphic Rocks

12 The Internal Structure of the Earth

12.1 Introduction

12.2 Evidence of Earth’s Composition from Drilling

12.3 Evidence of Earth’s Composition from Volcanoes

12.4 Evidence of Earth’s Composition from Meteorites

12.5 Using Earthquake Seismic Waves As Earth Probes

13 Plate Tectonics and Volcanism: Processes, Products and Landforms

13.1 Introduction

13.2 Global Tectonics: How Plates, Basins and Mountains Are Created

13.3 Volcanic Processes and the Global Tectonic Model

13.4 Magma Eruption

13.5 Explosive Volcanism

13.6 Petrographic Features of Volcaniclastic Sediments

13.7 Transport and Deposition of Pyroclastic Materials

13.8 The Relationship Between Volcanic Processes and the Earth’s Atmosphere and Climate

13.10 Plate Tectonics, Uniformitarianism and Earth History

14 Geotectonics: Processes, Structures and Landforms

14.1 Introduction

14.2 Tectonic Structures

14.3 Tectonic Structures As Lines of Weakness in Landscape Evolution

Section IV Exogenic Geological Systems

15 Weathering Processes and Products

15.1 Introduction

15.2 Physical or Mechanical Weathering

15.3 Chemical Weathering

15.4 Measuring Weathering Rates

15.5 Weathering Landforms

16 Slope Processes and Morphology

16.1 Introduction

16.2 Slopes: Mass Movement

16.3 Hillslope Hydrology and Slope Processes

16.4 Slope Morphology and Its Evolution

17 Fluvial Processes and Landform–Sediment Assemblages

17.1 Introduction

17.2 Loose Boundary Hydraulics

17.3 The Energy of a River and Its Ability to Do Work

17.4 Transport of the Sediment Load

17.5 Types of Sediment Load

17.6 River Hydrology

17.7 The Drainage Basin

17.8 Drainage Patterns and Their Interpretation

17.9 Fluvial Channel Geomorphology

18 Carbonate Sedimentary Environments and Karst Processes and Landforms

18.1 Introduction

18.2 Carbonate Sedimentary Environments and Carbonate Rock Characteristics

18.3 Evaporites

18.4 Carbonate Facies Models

18.5 Karst Processes

19 Coastal Processes, Landforms and Sediments

19.1 Introduction to the Coastal Zone

19.2 Sea Waves, Tides and Tsunamis

19.3 Tides

19.4 Tsunamis

19.5 Coastal Landsystems

19.6 Distribution of Coastal Landsystems

19.7 The Impact of Climatic Change on Coastal Landsystems: What Lies in the Future?

20 Glacial Processes and Landsystems

20.1 Introduction

20.2 Mass Balance and Glacier Formation

20.3 Mass Balance and Glacier Flow

20.4 Surging Glaciers

20.5 Processes of Glacial Erosion and Deposition

20.6 Glacial Landsystems

21 Periglacial Processes and Landform–Sediment Assemblages

21.1 Introduction to the Term ‘Periglacial’

21.2 Permafrost

21.3 Periglacial Processes and Landforms

21.4 Frost Heaving and Frost Thrusting

21.5 Landforms Associated With Frost Sorting

21.6 Needle Ice Development

21.8 Growth of Ground Ice and Its Decay, and the Development of Pingos, Thufurs and Palsas

21.9 Processes Associated With Snowbanks (Nivation Processes)

21.10 Cryoplanation or Altiplanation Processes and Their Resultant Landforms

21.11 The Development of Tors

21.12 Slope Processes Associated With the Short Summer Melt Season

21.13 Cambering and Associated Structures

21.14 Wind Action in a Periglacial Climate

21.15 Fluvial Processes in a Periglacial Environment

21.16 Alluvial Fans in a Periglacial Region

21.17 An Overview of the Importance of Periglacial Processes in Shaping the Landscape of Upland Britain

21.18 The Periglaciation of Lowland Britain

22 Aeolian (Wind) Processes and Landform–Sediment Assemblages

22.1 Introduction

22.2 Current Controls on Wind Systems

22.3 Sediment Entrainment and Processes of Sand Movement

22.4 Processes of Wind Transport

22.5 Aeolian Bedforms

22.6 Dune and Aeolian Sediments

22.7 Dust and Loess Deposition

22.8 Wind Erosion Landforms

Section V The Biosphere

23 Principles of Ecology and Biogeography

23.1 Introduction

23.2 Why Do Organisms Live Where They Do?

23.3 Components of Ecosystems

23.4 Energy Flow in Ecosystems

23.5 Food Chains and Webs

23.6 Pathways of Mineral Matter (Biogeochemical Cycling)

23.7 Vegetation Succession and Climaxes

23.8 Concluding Remarks

24 Soil-Forming Processes and Products

24.1 Introduction

24.2 Controls on Soil Formation

24.3 Soils As Systems

24.4 Soil Profile Development

24.5 Soil Properties

24.6 Key Soil Types, With a Description and Typical Profile

24.7 Podsolization: Theories

24.8 Soil Classification

24.9 Regional and Local Soil Distribution

24.10 The Development of Dune Soils: An Example from the Sefton Coast

24.11 The Development of Woodland Soils in Delamere Forest

24.12 Intrazonal Soils Caused By Topographic Change

24.13 Palaeosols

25 World Ecosystems

25.1 Introduction

25.2 The Tundra Ecozone

25.3 The Tropical (Equatorial) Rain Forest, Or Humid Tropics Sensu Stricto, Ecozone

25.4 The Seasonal Tropics or Savanna Ecozone

25.5 Potential Effects of Global Warming on the World’s Ecozones

Section VI Global Environmental Change: Past, Present and Future

26 The Earth As a Planet: Geological Evolution and Change

26.1 Introduction

26.2 How Unique Is the Earth As a Planet?

26.3 What Do We Really Know About The Early Earth?

26.4 The Early Geological Record

26.5 The First Earth System

26.6 How Did the Earth’s Core Form?

26.7 Evolution of the Earth’s Mantle

26.8 Evolution of the Continental Crust

27 Atmospheric Evolution and Future Climate Change

27.1 Evolution of the Earth’s Atmosphere

27.2 Future Climate Change

28 Future Change in Ocean Circulation and the Hydrosphere

28.1 Introduction

28.2 Sea-Level Change and the Supercontinental Cycle

28.3 Projected Long-Term Changes in the Ocean

28.4 Future Changes in the Water Cycle

29 Biosphere Evolution and Change

29.1 Introduction

29.2 Mechanisms of Evolution in the Fossil Record

29.3 The Origins of Life

29.4 An Outline History of the Earth’s Biospheric Evolution

30 Environmental Change: Greenhouse and Icehouse Earth Phases and Climates Prior to Recent Changes

30.1 Introduction

30.2 Early Glaciations in the Proterozoic Phase of the Pre-Cambrian (The Snowball Earth Hypothesis)

30.3 Examples of Changes from Greenhouse to Icehouse Climates in the Earth’s Past

30.4 Late Cenozoic Ice Ages: Rapid Climate Change in the Quaternary

30.5 Late Glacial Climates and Evidence for Rapid Change

30.6 The Medieval Warm Period or Medieval Climate Optimum and the Little Ice Age

31 Global Environmental Change in the Future

31.1 Introduction

31.2 Future Climate Change

31.3 Change in the Geosphere

31.4 Change in the Oceans and Hydrosphere

31.5 Change in the Biosphere

31.6 A Timeline for Future Earth

31.7 Causes for Future Optimism?

31.8 Concluding Remarks