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Mountain Geomorphology

Mountain Geomorphology

Lewis A. Owen, David Nash, Craig Dietsch

ISBN: 978-1-405-19191-3

Mar 2015

544 pages

Select type: Hardcover


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Mountains have been a source of fascination, awe, and inspiration throughout history and as the human population continues to grow, mountains are becoming increasingly used and abused for resources and recreation. Mountains are extremely sensitive to population pressures and environmental change, and will become increasingly vulnerable with future human-induced changes and human encroachment. It is essential, therefore, to understand both the natural and human-induced processes that operate in mountain regions. Furthermore, in recent years there have been important paradigms shifts in the theories of landscape evolution in mountain regions; specifically how climate change, earth surfaces processes, and tectonics operate and interact to drive landscape evolution in mountains. In addition, significant debate exists over the relative importance these realms and how they interact in the shaping of mountain landscapes. Of particular importance is the role glaciers play in shaping the geomorphic evolution of orogenic belts, both spatially and temporally. It is also unclear how denudation rates vary over time. The proposed volume would consider these issues by presenting current knowledge of how climatic, earth surface processes, and tectonic processes contribute to the evolution of landforms, with an emphasis on how their interactions shape mountain landscapes. The text will focus on the current debate over the relationships among mountain glaciation, climate, tectonics, denudation, and landscape evolution. In particular, the text would stress the applied aspects of geomorphic analysis in mountainous regions, focusing specifically natural hazard and human-induced changes in mountains. The text would also highlight some of the new exciting developments in extraterrestrial mountain geomorphology.

Part I: Introduction.

1. Introduction (LAO).

a) Definition of mountains.

b) Attraction of mountains.

c) Global distribution.

b) Tectonic and quantitative revolutions.

e) Methods of study:.

i) Remote sensing.

ii) Fieldwork mapping.

iii) Field monitoring.

iv) Geomorphometrics.

v) Sedimentology.

vi) Geochronology.

vii) Geobarometry and geothermometry.

viii) Geodetic methods.

Part II: Mechanism of Formation.

2. Orogensis (CD).

a) Young mountain belts.

i) Continental-continental systems.

ii) Continental-oceanic arcs.

iii) Continental rifts.

iv) Mountains associated with transpressional and transtensional faults.

b) Ancient mountain belts and orogenies.

i) Appalachians-Caledonides.

ii) Cordillera of western North America.

iii) Variscan chain of Europe.

3. Plateaus, Great Escarpments and Hotspots (CD).

a) Epeirogenically uplifted plateaus.

b) Great escarpments.

c) Hot spots.

4. Mountains on other planets and their moons (DN).

a) Mars.

b) Venus.

c) Mercury.

d) Moons.

Part III: Landforms and Mechanics of Surface Processes.

5. Mountain Weather, Climate and Vegetation (LAO).

a) Orographic effects.

b) Climatic zones.

c) Vegetation types.

6. Weathering (DN).

a) Cryogenic physical processes.

b) Chemical processes.

c) Defining rates of weathering.

d) Contribution to landscape evolution.

7. Alpine permafrost and nivation (DN).

a) Distribution, nature and dynamics permafrost.

b) Snow accumulation and nivation.

c) Role in landscape evolution.

d) Applied aspects – Tibetan Railroad.

8. Mass movement and hillslope evolution (DN).

a) Exhumation of rock and joint formation.

b) Creep, Solifluction and gelifluction.

c) Shallow slope detachments.

d) Snow and rock avalanching.

e) Debris flows.

f) Translational and rotational failures.

g) Long-run out landslides.

h) Earthquake generated failures.

i) Role of landsliding in landscape evolution.

j) Case studies – Landslide Hazards in the Himalaya.

9. Mountain glaciation (LAO).

i) Distribution of mountain glaciers.

ii) Glacier types.

iii) Glacier dynamics.

iv) Sediment transfer and deposition.

v) Glacial landsystems, landforms and sediments.

vi) Glacial erosion.

vii) Timing of glaciation.

viii) Role in landscape evolution glacial unloading.

10. Hydrology (DN).

i) Relationship to climate.

ii) Relationship to snow and ice.

iii) Characteristics of mountain rivers.

iv) Floods (metrological and GLOFs).

11. Aeolian Processes and landforms (LAO).

i) Mountain and katabatic winds.

ii) Dune fields.

iii) Loess.

iv) Rates of aeolian erosion and sediment transfer.

Part IV: Anatomy of Orogens.

12. Mountain interiors (CD).

i) Belts of crystallinine rocks.

ii) Suture zones.

iii) Metamorphic core complexes and gneiss domes.

iv) Ophilolites.

v) Distribution of landforms.

13. Intermontane Basins (LAO).

i) Types and distribution.

ii) Sedimentation.

iii) Deformation.

14. Hinterlands and Foreland Basins (CD).

i) Characteristics, distribution, and age.

ii) Processes.

iii) Landscape evolution.

15. Modeling landscape evolution (LAO).

i) Morphotectonics.

ii) Hardware models.

iii) Numerical models.

Part V: Humans and mountains.

16. Natural Hazards (DN).

i) Earthquakes.

ii) Volcanic.

iii) Flooding.

iv) Landslides.

v) Water resources.

vi) Aeolian hazards.

17. Human Impact (DN).

i) Erosion and landsliding.

ii) Melting glaciers (global warming).

iii) Pollution.

iv) Reduction of biodiversity.

v) Mountain protection e.g. Parks and World Heritage sites.

18. References