Human activities have had a huge impact on the environment and landscape, through industrialisation and land-use change, leading to climate change, deforestation, desertification, land degradation, and air and water pollution. These impacts are strongly linked to the occurrence of geomorphological hazards, such as floods, landslides, snow avalanches, soil erosion, and others. Geomorphological work includes not only the understanding but the mapping and modelling of Earth's surface processes, many of which directly affect human societies. In addition, geomorphologists are becoming increasingly involved with the dimensions of societal problem solving, through vulnerability analysis, hazard and risk assessment and management. The work of geomorphologists is therefore of prime importance for disaster prevention. An international team of geomorphologists have contributed their expertise to this volume, making this a scientifically rigorous work for a wide audience of geomorphologists and other Earth scientists, including those involved in environmental science, hazard and risk assessment, management and policy.
Professor Andrew Goudie was Professor and Head of Department of Geography at Oxford University. A distinguished physical geographer, he was awarded a DSc by Oxford University, received a Royal Medal from the Royal Geographical Society, the Prize of the Royal Belgian Academy, the British Society for Geomorphology's David Linton Award (2009) and the Geological Society of America's Farouk El-Baz Award for Desert Research. He has been President of the Oxford University Development Programme, Pro-Vice-Chancellor of the University, and Delegate of Oxford University Press. He has been President of the Geographical Association, President of Section E of the British Association and Chairman of the British Geomorphological Research Group. Professor Goudie became Master of St Cross College, Oxford, in October 2003, and continues to lecture at Oxford University Centre for the Environment. Since 2005 he has been President of the International Association of Geomorphologists. In addition to being author of nearly 200 scientific papers, he is the author or co-author of the following books (amongst others): The Human Impact, The Nature of the Environment, Environmental Change, The Encyclopedia of Global Change, Geomorphology of Deserts, Geomorphological Techniques, Chemical Sediments and Geomorphology, The Geomorphology of England and Wales, The Warm Desert Environment, Discovering Landscape in England and Wales, Landshapes, The Encyclopedic Dictionary of Physical Geography, Desert Geomorphology, The Student's Companion to Geography, The Physical Geography of Africa, The Earth Transformed, Aeolian Environments, Sediments and Landforms, The Encyclopedia of Geomorphology, Global Environments through the Quaternary, The Oxford Companion to Global Change and Wheels across the Desert.