(Article of periodic en Anglais - 2009)

Document title

Changes, perturbations, and responses in geomorphic systems

Authors(s) and Affiliation(s)

(1) Tobacco Road Research Team, Dept. of Geography, Univ. of Kentucky, Lexington, ETATS-UNIS


In recent decades views of change, disturbance, response, and recovery in geomorphology have expanded considerably. Conceptual frameworks emphasizing single-path, single-outcome trajectories of change have been supplemented, not replaced, by multi-path, multi-outcome perspectives. Geomorphology has also seen a transition from the idea of normative standards such as characteristics, (steady-state) equilibrium, zonal, and mature forms to the recognition that some systems may have a multiple potential characteristics or equilibrium forms , and that some may have no particular normative state at all. The single-path single-outcome frameworks can generally be viewed as special cases of the broader pluralistic analytical structures. In this context, two perspectives : an adaptation of White's hazards matrix, and the landscape sensitivity concept, are suggested which lend themselves to studies of recent and contemporary changes in earth surface systems. These perspectives can be synthesized into a framework for the assessment of geomorphic changes and responses based on the "four Rs" : response (reaction and relaxation times), resistance (relative to the drivers of the change), resilience (recovery ability, based on dynamic stability), and recursion (positive and/or negative feedbacks)


Article of periodic

published at : Progress in physical geography / ISSN 0309-1333 / CODEN PPGEEC

Editor : Sage Publications, London - ROYAUME-UNI (1977)

Millesime : 2009, vol. 33, no1 [pp. 17-30]

Bibliographic references : 1,5 p.

Collation : 5 fig., 1 tabl.



INIST-CNRS, Cote INIST : 14648 A

Digital Object Identifier

Go to electronic document thanks to its DOI : doi:10.1177/0309133309103889

Tous droits réservés © Prodig - Bibliographie Géographique Internationale (BGI), 2009
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