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Landscapes on the Edge: New Horizons for Research on Earth's Surface

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Landscapes on the Edge

New Horizons for Research on Earth's Surface (2010)
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Description

During geologic spans of time, Earth's shifting tectonic plates, atmosphere, freezing water, thawing ice, flowing rivers, and evolving life have shaped Earth's surface features. The resulting hills, mountains, valleys, and plains shelter ecosystems that interact with all life and provide a record of Earth surface processes that extend back through Earth's history. Despite rapidly growing scientific knowledge of Earth surface interactions, and the increasing availability of new monitoring technologies, there is still little understanding of how these processes generate and degrade landscapes.

Landscapes on the Edge identifies nine grand challenges in this emerging field of study and proposes four high-priority research initiatives. The book poses questions about how our planet's past can tell us about its future, how landscapes record climate and tectonics, and how Earth surface science can contribute to developing a sustainable living surface for future generations.

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Suggested Citation

National Research Council. 2010. Landscapes on the Edge: New Horizons for Research on Earth's Surface. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. https://doi.org/10.17226/12700.

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Publication Info

180 pages | 7 x 10
ISBNs:
  • Paperback: 978-0-309-14024-9
  • Ebook: 978-0-309-15268-6
DOI: https://doi.org/10.17226/12700
Contents
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Videos

Landscapes on the Edge: New Horizons for Research on Earth's Surface

Chemical, physical, biotic, and human processes constantly reshape Earth's surface from particles to continents. These processes form a complex network of interactions and feedbacks, but these interplays are not well understood, and challenging questions face science and society: How did Earth surface processes interact to create the landscapes of today? How will changing processes shape Earth's surface in coming years? In this new video, Dr. Dorothy Merritts describes the research agenda laid out in the recent National Research Council report Landscapes on the Edge: New Horizons for Research on Earth's Surface.

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