1997 Edition

Anthropogenic influences in geomorphology

  • C. R. Twidale
Reference work entry

Since man spread over the earth's surface, he has extensively modified his environment. Some of the changes effected have caused new land forms to develop, so much so that late in the last century, a Russian geographer wrote that he “cannot conceive physiography from which Man has been excluded” (Krapotkin, 1893, p. 355). Deforestation, introduction of exotic plants and animals, the use of agricultural machinery, the use and building of tracks and roads, and overgrazing of pastures have all, singly and in combination, altered the preexisting quasi-equilibrium of the environment and caused accelerated erosion and deposition to occur. So significant is this physiographic activity initiated by man that many workers consider a new, anthropogenic, epicycle of erosion to be in progress.

The clearance of woodland for agricultural purposes has various and complex repercussions. Forest and bushfires may achieve similar results. The soil surface is exposed to direct raindrop impact, a measure of...
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Copyright information

© Reinhold Book Corporation 1968

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  • C. R. Twidale

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