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The Physical Geography of the Mediterranean

Series: Oxford Regional Environments

Edited By: Jamie Woodward

663 pages, Figs, tabs

Oxford University Press

Hardback | May 2009 | #178347 | ISBN-13: 9780199268030
Availability: Usually dispatched within 2-3 weeks Details
NHBS Price: £195.00 $239/€219 approx

About this book

This volume explores the climates, landscapes, ecosystems and hazards that comprise the Mediterranean world. It traces the development of the Mediterranean landscape over very long timescales and examines modern processes and key environmental issues in a wide range of settings. The Mediterranean is the only region on Earth where three continents meet and this interaction has produced a very distinctive Physical Geography. This book examines the landscapes and processes at the margins of these continents and the distinctive marine environment between them.
Catastrophic earthquakes, explosive volcanic eruptions and devastating storms and floods are intimately bound up within the history and mythology of the Mediterranean world. This is a key region for the study of natural hazards because it offers unrivalled access to long records of hazard occurrence and impact through documentary, archaeological and geological archives. The Mediterranean is also a biodiversity hotspot; it has been a meeting place for plants, animals and humans from three continents throughout much of its history.

The Quaternary records of these interactions are more varied and better preserved than in any other part of the world. These records have provided important new insights into the tempo of climate, landscape and ecosystem change in the Mediterranean region and beyond. The region is unique because of the very early and widespread impact of humans in landscape and ecosystem change - and the richness of the archaeological and geological archives that chronicle this impact. This book examines this history and these interactions and places current environmental issues in long term context.

...the two words which immediately suggest themselves when reading this volume are authoritative and comprehensiveThe impressive aspect of this volume is that the authors that the editor has chosen to write the constituent chapters are exactly the people youd want to hear from on those subjects... Proceedings of the Geologists' Association The uniqueness of this new book is that it attempts, and largely succeeds, in producing, within a single volume, a review of the entire Mediterranean landscape; the factors responsible for its creation, the role of past environmental change, the processes that have shaped it, the response of those processes to environmental change, the physical hazards of the region and the response of the region to human impacts and future climate change... The impressive aspect of this volume is that the authors that the editor has chosen to write the constituent chapters are exactly the people you'd want to hear from on those subjects. Ian Candy, Proceedings of the Geologists' Association The main strength of the book lies in its impressive detail on the physical geography of this region, which makes it an unrivalled resource on the physical geography of the Mediterranean in one volume. Richard Shakesby, Swansea University, reviewed in The Holocene


PART 1: THE PHYSICAL AND BIOLOGICAL FRAMEWORK; 1. Tectonic setting and landscape development; 2. The marine environment: present and past; 3. The climate system; 4. Cenozoic climate and vegetation change; 5. The nature and origin of the vertebrate fauna; PART 2: GEOMORPHOLOGY, BIOGEOGRAPHY AND ECOSYSTEMS; 6. Weathering, soils and slope processes; 7. Vegetation and ecosystem dynamics; 8. Hydrology, river regimes and sediment yield; 9. Lakes, wetlands and Holocene environmental change; 10. Karst geomorphology; 11. River systems and environmental change; 12. Glacial and periglacial environments; 13. Coastal geomorphology and sea-level change; 14. Aeolian processes and landforms; PART 3: NATURAL HAZARDS; 15. Volcanoes; 16. Earthquakes; 17. Tsunamis; 18. Storms and floods; 19. Wildfires; PART 4: ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES IN THE 21ST CENTURY; 20. Land degradation; 21. Water resources; 22. Air pollution and climate; 23. Biodiversity and conservation

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