Arid Zone Geomorphology: Third Edition edited by David S. G. Thomas - Book review

Arid Zone Geomorphology

Process, Form and Change in Drylands, Third Edition

Edited by: David S. G. Thomas

Published: May 3, 2011
Format: Paperback, 648 pages
ISBN-10: 0470519096
ISBN-13: 978-0470519097
Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell

"For much of history and for many human races, arid environments have been areas to avoid, though for those that have been, and continue to be, resourceful and able to adapt, arid regions have proved to be environments that can effectively and successfully utilized", writes Professor of Geography, Head of the School of Geography and the Environment, and Professorial Fellow of Hertford College, University of Oxford, David S. G. Thomas, in the completely revised and updated edition of his comprehensive reference book Arid Zone Geomorphology: Process, Form and Change in Drylands. David Thomas provides a well selected, yet very balanced introduction to the concepts of landforms and the geomorphological process that have shaped and continue to transform the arid regions of the world.

David S. G. Thomas presents an anthology, featuring leading experts in the subject area, that offers a complete overview of the developments and changes taking place in the field. Arid zone studies are a relatively new area of geographical and earth sciences study, and this anthology of scientific essays describes the newest approaches and advances in this fascinating and important field. The collection brings both students and specialists up to date in the latest developments in the field, complete with the appropriate research data for each topic under consideration. For students, policy analysts, and the general public, the book is both approachable and science based, providing a balanced and clear overview of the book.

David S. G. Thomas (photo left) recognizes the importance of the arid regions of the earth to humans and for indigenous fauna and flora, as a place to live and work, and also as fragile areas vulnerable to climatic influences and change. The dry regions of the planet have evolved through complex processes that continue to have an impact on these important areas, and this book provides insights into those past and ongoing processes and events.

David S. G. divides the book into five overall sections to ensure understanding on the part of the student and other readers of the book:

* Large-scale controls and variability in drylands
* Surface processes and characteristics
* The work of water
* The work of the wind
* Living with dryland geomorphology

For me, the power of the book, is how David S. G. Thomas presents a comprehensive compendium overview of the geomorphological processes that created and continue to sculpt and affect the world's dryland areas. The book features well written and clear essays by leading authorities in the field, and each article adds depth to the reader's understanding of the subject. The book is well formatted into five overall sections that guide study and learning about this important field. The editor has included many case studies that illustrate the natural and human created processes at work in the planets drylands. The numerous photographs and graphics enrich the understanding of the subject matter and help the student or professional visualize the processes as they work, and their resulting aftermath.

I highly recommend the landmark and important book Arid Zone Geomorphology: Process, Form and Change in Drylands by David S. G. Thomas, to any students, specialists in the field, policy makers, business leaders, and anyone interested in this critical and fascinating field. This book will guide both students and professionals in many disciplines and professionals toward a deeper and richer understanding of the importance of arid regions, and the processes at work in these amazing areas of our planet.

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