Earth Environments

Earth Environments

Past, Present and Future

Stott, Tim; Huddart, David

John Wiley & Sons Inc







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Introduction. Section One. 1 Introduction to Earth Systems. Learning outcomes. 1.1 Introduction to the 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. Exercises. References. Section Two. 2 Structure and Composition of the Atmosphere. Learning outcomes. 2.1 Structure of the atmosphere. 2.2 Composition of the atmosphere. Exercises. References. Further reading. 3 Energy in the Atmosphere and the Earth Heat Budget. Learning outcomes. 3.1 Introduction. 3.2 Solar radiation. Exercises. References. Further reading. 4 Moisture in the Atmosphere. Learning outcomes. 4.1 Introduction. 4.2 The global hydrological cycle. 4.3 Air stability and instability. 4.4 Clouds. 4.5 Precipitation. Exercises. References. Further reading. 5 Atmospheric Motion. Learning outcomes. 5.1 Introduction. 5.2 Atmospheric pressure. 5.3 Winds and pressure gradients. 5.4 The global pattern of atmospheric circulation. Exercises. References. Further reading. 6 Weather Systems. Learning outcomes. 6.1 Introduction. 6.2 Macroscale synoptic systems. 6.3 Meso-scale: local winds. 6.4 Microclimates. Exercises. References. Further reading. 7 World Climates. Learning outcomes. 7.1 Introduction. 7.2 Classification of climate. Exercises. References. Further reading. 8 Ocean Structure and Circulation Patterns. Learning outcomes. 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. Exercises. References. Further reading. 9 Atmospheric Evolution and Climate Change. Learning outcomes. 9.1 Evolution of the earth s atmosphere. Exercises. References. Further reading. 10 Principles of Climate Change. Learning outcomes. 10.1 Introduction. 10.2 Evidence for climate change. 10.3 Causes of climate change. Exercises. References. Further reading. Section Three. 11 Earth Materials: Mineralogy, Rocks and the Rock Cycle. Learning outcomes. 11.1 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. Exercises. References. Further reading. 12 The Internal Structure of the Earth. Learning outcomes. 12.1 Introduction. 12.2 Evidence of the earth s composition from drilling. 12.3 Evidence of the earth s composition from volcanoes. 12.4 Evidence of the earth s composition from meteorites. 12.5 Using earthquake seismic waves as earth probes. Exercises. References. Further reading. 13 Plate Tectonics and Volcanism: Processes, Products and Landforms. Learning outcomes. 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. 13.9 Relationships between volcanic eruptions and biotic evolution. 13.10 Plate tectonics, uniformitarianism and earth history. Exercises. References. Further reading. 14 Geotectonics: Processes, Structures and Landforms. Learning outcomes. 14.1 Introduction. 14.2 Tectonic structures. 14.3 Tectonic structures as lines of weakness in landscape evolution. Exercises. References. Further reading. Section Four. 15 Weathering Processes and Products. Learning outcomes. 15.1 Introduction. 15.2 Physical or mechanical weathering. 15.3 Chemical weathering. 15.4 Measuring weathering rates. 15.5 Weathering landforms. Exercises. References. Further reading. 16 Slope Processes and Morphology. Learning outcomes. 16.1 Introduction. 16.2 Slopes: mass movement. 16.3 Hillslope hydrology and slope processes. 16.4 Slope morphology and its evolution. Exercises. References. Further reading. 17 Fluvial Processes and Landform-Sediment Assemblages. Learning outcomes. 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. Exercises. References. Further reading. 18 Carbonate Sedimentary Environments and Karst Processes and Landforms. Learning outcomes. 18.1 Introduction. 18.2 Carbonate sedimentary environments and the creation of carbonate rock characteristics. 18.3 Evaporites. 18.4 Carbonate facies models. 18.5 Karst processes. Exercises. References. Further reading. 19 Coastal Processes, Landforms and Sediments. Learning outcomes. 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? Exercises. References. Further reading. 20 Glacial Processes and Landsystems. Learning outcomes. 20.1 Introduction. 20.2 Mass balance and glacier formation. 20.3 Mass balance and glacier flow. 20.4 Surging or galloping glaciers. 20.5 Processes of glacial erosion and deposition. 20.6 Glacial landsystems. Exercises. References. Further reading. 21 Periglacial Processes and Landform-Sediment Assemblages. Learning outcomes. 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. 21.7 Frost cracking and the development of ice wedges. 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. Exercises. References. Further reading. 22 Aeolian (Wind) Processes and Landform-Sediment Assemblages. Learning outcomes. 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. Exercises. References. Further reading. Section Five. 23 Principles of Ecology and Biogeography. Learning outcomes. 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. Exercises. References. Further reading. 24 Soil-forming Processes and Products. Learning outcomes. 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 Soil description in the field. 24.7 Key soil types, with a description and typical profile. 24.8 Podsolization: theories. 24.9 Soil classification. 24.10 Regional and local soil distribution. 24.11 The development of dune soils: an example from the Sefton coast. 24.12 The development of woodland soils in Delamere Forest. 24.13 Intrazonal soils caused by topographic change. 24.14 Palaeosols. Exercises. References. Further reading. 25 World Ecosystems. Learning outcomes. 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. Exercises. References. Further reading. Section Six. 26 The Earth as a Planet: Geological Evolution and Change. Learning outcomes. 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. Exercises. References. Further reading. 27 Atmospheric Evolution and Climate Change. Learning outcomes. 27.1 Evolution of the earth s atmosphere. 27.2 Future climate change. Exercises. References. Further reading. 28 Change in Ocean Circulation and the Hydrosphere. Learning outcomes. 28.1 Introduction. 28.2 Sea-level change and the supercontinental cycle. 28.3 Ocean circulation in a warming climate. Exercises. References. Further reading. 29 Biosphere Evolution and Change in the Biosphere. Learning outcomes. 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. 29.5 Mass extinctions and catastrophes in the history of life on earth. Exercises. References. Further reading. 30 Environmental Change: Greenhouse and Icehouse Earth Phases and Climates Prior to Recent Changes. Learning outcomes. 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. Exercises. References. Further reading. 31 Global Environmental Change in the Future. Learning outcomes. 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. Exercises. References. Further reading.
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