Implications of the Anthropocene Epoch for Geomorphology

  • Olav SlaymakerEmail author
  • Monica E. Mulrennan
  • Norm Catto
Part of the World Geomorphological Landscapes book series (WGLC)


The protection of landscape is a matter of priority in this Anthropocene epoch, as explained in Chap.  25. If we agree that humanity has become the dominant driver of environmental change then figuring out the intellectual and social relevance of geomorphology is a topic that requires equally urgent attention. Classical geomorphology pays scant attention to the social, cultural and political factors that provoke geomorphic change. A modest proposal to recast geomorphology as both a landscape science and a geoscience is a suggested preferred first step. If that step is taken, the contested status of ‘landscape’ will make broader philosophical and methodological approaches possible in geomorphology. In particular, both the intrinsic and utilitarian value of geomorphology could be assessed more realistically. The net result could be more careful consideration of human well-being in geomorphological research.


Geomorphology Landchange science Landscape science Intrinsic and utilitarian value 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • Olav Slaymaker
    • 1
    Email author
  • Monica E. Mulrennan
    • 2
  • Norm Catto
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of GeographyUniversity of British ColumbiaVancouverCanada
  2. 2.Department of Geography, Planning and EnvironmentConcordia UniversityMontréalCanada
  3. 3.Department of GeographyMemorial University of Newfoundland and LabradorSt. John’sCanada

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