Elemental Geosystems

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  • Edition: 4th
  • Format: Paperback w/CD
  • Copyright: 2004-01-01
  • Publisher: Pearson College Div
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This book gives readers anaccessible , systematic, non-mathematical, and visually appealing start in physical geography. It features a distinctive, holistic integration of human-Earth relationships, an applied flavor, scientific correctness, and superior graphics (remote sensing images) and cartography. A holistic, process approach is used to describe and discuss each physical system. Highlights more than 200 URLs, and features an accompanying CD-ROM with more than 30 animations of key concepts in physical geography. Solar Energy, Seasons, and the Atmosphere. Atmospheric Energy and Global Temperatures. Atmospheric and Oceanic Circulations. Atmospheric Water and Weather. Global Climate Systems. Water Resources. The Dynamic Planet. Earthquakes and Volcanoes. Weathering, Karst Landscapes, and Mass Movement. River Systems and Landforms. Wind Processes and Desert Landscapes. The Oceans, Coastal Processes, and Landforms. Glacial and Periglacial Landscapes. The Geography of Soils. Ecosystems and Biomes. Earth and the Human Denominator. For anyone needing a non-mathematical introduction to physical geography.

Table of Contents

1. Foundations of Geography.


2. Solar Energy, Seasons, and the Atmosphere.
3. Atmospheric Energy and Global Temperatures.
4. Atmospheric and Oceanic Circulations.


5. Atmospheric Water and Weather.
6. Global Climate Systems.
7. Water Resources.


8. The Dynamic Planet.
9. Earthquakes and Volcanoes.
10. Weathering, Karst Landscapes, and Mass Movement.
11. River Systems and Landforms.
12. Wind Processes and Desert Landscapes.
13. The Oceans, Coastal Processes, and Landforms.
14. Glacial and Periglacial Landscapes.


15. The Geography of Soils.
16. Ecosystems and Biomes.
17. Earth and the Human Denominator.


A. Maps in this Text and Topographic Maps.
B. The Köppen Climate Classification System.
C. The Canadian System of Soil Classification (CSSC).


Welcome to physical geography and the fourth edition ofElemental Geosystems.This book builds on the previous three editions and on the five editions of its companion textGeosystems, An Introduction to Physical Geography.Students and teachers alike continue to express appreciation for the systems organization, readability, scientific accuracy, up-to-date coverage and relevancy, clarity of the summary and review sections, the functional beauty of the photographs, art, cartography, and the many integrated figures in the text that combine media. The world community is responding to global concerns over the condition of Earth's physical, biological, and chemical systems. The globalization of the world economies seems paralleled by a global scientific inquiry into the state of the environment. Armed with the spatial analysis tools of geographic science, physical geographers are well equipped to participate in a planetary understanding of environmental conditions. U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan, recipient of the 2001 Nobel Peace Prize, spoke to the Association of American Geographers annual meeting, stating, As you know only too well the signs of severe environmental distress are all around us .... The idea of interdependence is old hat to geographers, but for most people it is a new garment they are only now trying on for size .... I look forward to working with you in that all-important journey. Elemental Geosystems Communicates the Science of Physical Geography The goal of physical geography is to explain the spatial dimension of Earth's dynamic systems--its energy, air, water, weather, climate, tectonics, landforms, rocks, soils, plants, ecosystems, and biomes. Understanding human-Earth relations is part of the challenge of physical geography--to create a holistic (or complete) view of the planet and its inhabitants. Elemental Geosystemsanalyzes the worldwide impact of environmental events, bringing together many physical factors to create a complete picture of Earth system operations. A good example is the 1991 eruption of Mount Pinatubo in the Philippines. The global implications of this major event (one of the largest eruptions in the 20th century) are woven through several chapters of the book (see Figure 1.5 for a summary). Global climate change and its related potential effects are part of the fabric in six chapters. These content threads, among many, weave together diverse topics crucial to an understanding of physical geography. This edition ofElemental Geosystemsfeatures more than 450 photographs from across the globe and 90 remote-sensing images from a wide variety of orbital platforms. To assist with spatial analysis and location, more than 100 maps are utilized, and more than 250 illustrations explain concepts. New compound arts help you see the concepts you are studying. Here are two examples: Focus Study 13.1, art and 7 photos look at coastal planning; Figure 16.19, satellite image, map, and 10 photos examine succession in the area blasted-by Mount St. Helens. Systems Organization MakesElemental GeosystemsFlow Each section of this book is organized around the flow of energy, materials, and information.Elemental Geosystemspresents subjects in the same sequence in which they occur in nature. In this way you and your teacher logically progress through topics that unfold according to the flow of individual systems, or in accord with time and the flow of events. See Figure 1.6 for an illustration of this systems organization. For flexibility,Elemental Geosystemsis divided into four parts, each containing chapters that link content in logical groupings. The diagram below, from Figure 1.7 illustrates our part structure. A quick check of the Table of Contents and this illustration shows you the order of chapters within these four parts. The text culminates with Chapter 17, "Eart

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