Introducing Geomorphology: A Guide to Landforms and Processes
The question is this; is there a need for yet another textbook on Geomorphology? Harvey has already answered that question, stating that this is “not a textbook”. Indeed, it does not read like one, it is far too well written for that. It seems like a personal résumé of a life well spent in the pursuit of observing examples for use in teaching.
The text has been crafted clearly and is an excellent example of a writing style that, whilst describing a scientific subject, can be understood by readers at all levels. Harvey avoids references, which often get in the way of the flow of the narrative, and provides a glossary of terms—an approach that makes all the difference in creating a really satisfying read.
The scope of the work is not exceptional, it comfortably covers the foundations of the subject in a concise manner, hence this is a relatively compact book. This takes me back to my foundation years, when I had to carry around Holmes’ Principals of Physical Geology, which weighs 2.6 kg, but this small tome covers similar ground in a more portable and readable form. The diagrams and maps are clear and simple, and the photographs are abundant, purposeful, and accompanied by detailed explanations that complement the text.
Given that this book is an introduction without references, it is helpful to find a list of further reading. This will be especially useful for those with access to a good academic library. Although, given the gap between this foundation text and the level of the texts suggested for further reading, a readily available bridging text might be a more practical idea.
This is the second edition of the book, and it has been brought up to date with the advent of Google Earth, which has been used effectively to illustrate essential points. This book is clearly aimed at novice geography students, graduates and anybody who would benefit from a refresher. In that light, I would have expected that the use of LIDAR and GIS could have been given a mention, as these do enhance the study of geomorphology.
This is yet another excellent book in the Dunedin ‘Introducing…’ series. If the purpose of the series is to encourage the reader to progress further, then this is an attractive way of doing that. However, I would also hope that the purpose for such study might be given a bit more space in future editions.
Reviewed by Arthur Tingley
BY: Adrian Harvey (2021). Dunedin. 144 pp. (pbk).
PRICE: £12.00 www.dunedinacademicpress.co.uk/