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Physical Processes in Earth and Environmental Sciences


By: Mike Leeder and Marta Perez-Arlucea

321 pages, 270 illus


Paperback | Dec 2005 | #153451 | ISBN: 1405101733
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NHBS Price: £42.50 $56/€48 approx

About this book

This book provides a sound introduction to the basic physical processes that dominate the workings of the Earth, its atmosphere and hydrosphere. It systematically introduces the physical processes involved in the Earth's systems without assuming an advanced physics or mathematical background. Physical Processes in Earth and Environmental Sciences provides an integrated approach to the study of earth, marine and atmospheric environmental sciences, reflecting current trends in undergraduate courses. The text considers the various Earth systems through a basic account of general physical properties, kinematics, forces and dynamics that cause flow transport and deformation. Natural examples of physical processes, rather than abstract physics and maths, are used throughout to illustrate the scientific principles involved. This important book will be an essential reference for undergraduate students in a range of earth and environmental sciences.

A few common physical principles underpin much of the atmospheric, oceanographic and solid earth sciences. This simple and powerful fact is not as widely recognized as it should be but this textbook should change all that. Leeder and Perez-Arlucea's book will be welcomed by all those teaching quantitative aspects of the environmental sciences and it will be a great success. Dave Waltham, Royal Holloway University of London " ...remarkably comprehensive, full of delightful asides and comments, and written in a style that aptly combines erudition and charm." Chris Paola, National Center for Earth-surface Dynamics "Particularly intriguing is this book's refreshing tone. The fascination and joy that the authors perceive from their scientific experience and endeavour is being reflected on every page." Environmental Geology "Physical Processes in Earth and Environmental Sciences uses a pleasant and transparant format to explain complex processes in earth-system science. The text reads like a knife cuts through butter, it contains relevant historical information, anecdotes and side steps, and it is accompanied by a large number of explanatory line drawings and photographs." Journal of Sedimentary Research


Preface Acknowledgments 1. Planet Earth and Earth systems 1.1 Comparative planetology 1.2 Unique Earth 1.3 Earth systems snapshots 1.4 Measuring Earth 1.5 Whole Earth 1.6 Subtle interactive Earth Further reading 2. Matters of state and motion 2.1 Matters of state 2.2 Thermal matters 2.3 Quantity of matter 2.4 Matter in general motion: kinematics 2.5 Continuity: mass conservation in fluids Further reading 3. Forces and dynamics 3.1 Quantity of motion: momentum 3.2 Acceleration 3.3 Force, work, energy and power 3.4 Thermal energy and mechanical work 3.5 Hydrostatic pressure force 3.6 Buoyancy force 3.7 Radial force 3.8 Rotational force, vorticity and coriolis acceleration 3.9 Viscosity 3.10 Viscous force 3.11 Turbulent friction force 3.12 Overall forces of fluid motion 3.13 Solid stress 3.14 Solid strain 3.15 Rheology Further reading 4. Flow, deformation, and transport 4.1 The origin of large-scale fluid flow 4.2 Fundamental types of fluid flow 4.3 Fluid boundary layers 4.4 Laminar flow 4.5 Turbulent flow 4.6 Stratified flows 4.7 Particle settling 4.8 Particle transport by flows 4.9 Waves and liquids 4.10 Transport by waves 4.11 Granular gravity flow 4.12 Turbidity flow 4.13 Flow through porous solids and granular solids 4.14 Fractures 4.15 Solid failure and faults 4.16 Solid bending, buckling, and folds 4.17 Seismic waves 4.18 Molecules in motion: kinetic theory, heat conduction, and diffusion 4.19 Heat transport by radiation 4.20 Heat transport by convection Further reading 5. Inner Earth processes and systems 5.1 Melting magmas and volcanoes 5.2 Plate tectonics Further reading 6. Outer Earth processes and systems 6.1 Atmosphere 6.2 Atmosphere-ocean interface 6.3 Atmosphere-land interface 6.4 Deep ocean 6.5 Shallow ocean 6.6 Ocean-land interface: coasts 6.7 Land surface Further reading Appendix: brief mathematical refresher or study guide Cookies Index Index

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Dr Mike Leeder teaches and researches at the School of Environmental Sciences, University of East Anglia, UK. His main research interests are currently in the physics of sediment transport by turbulent flows and in the interactions between Earth surface physical processes and tectonics. He does active field work in Greece and New Mexico, USA. Dr Marta Perez-Arlucea teaches and researches at the Faculty of Marine Sciences, University of Vigo, Spain. Her main research interests currently include fluvial and coastal sedimentology, the determination of denudation rates, sediment flux, deposition rates and coastal evolution in Galicia (Spain), and the relation between tectonics and sedimentation in the Gulf of Corinth (Greece) and New Mexico, USA.

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