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Quantitative Modeling of Earth Surface Processes


By: Jon Pelletier

304 pages, 184 half-tones, 12 colour plates, 184 figures

Cambridge University Press

Hardback | Aug 2008 | #175853 | ISBN-13: 9780521855976
Availability: Usually dispatched within 6 days Details
NHBS Price: £64.99 $85/€74 approx

About this book

This textbook describes some of the most effective and straightforward quantitative techniques for modeling Earth surface processes. By emphasizing a core set of equations and solution techniques, the book presents state-of-the-art models currently employed in Earth surface process research, as well as a set of simple but practical research tools. Detailed case studies demonstrate application of the methods to a wide variety of processes including hillslope, fluvial, aeolian, glacial, tectonic, and climatic systems. Exercises at the end of each chapter begin with simple calculations and then progress to more sophisticated problems that require computer programming. All the necessary computer codes are available online at

Assuming some knowledge of calculus and basic programming experience, this quantitative textbook is designed for advanced geomorphology courses and as a reference book for professional researchers in Earth and planetary science looking for a quantitative approach to Earth surface processes.

Praise for this book: 'Revolutionary !! A new powerful instrument for the study of the Earth's surface that will change the intellectual landscape of this discipline. Rigorous and engaging, this book will train a new generation of scientists in the tools and techniques of quantitative surface processes. Indispensable for anyone interested in process geomorphology from a modern point of view.' - Sergio Fagherazzi, Boston University.


1. Preface; 2. Introduction; 3. The diffusion equation; 4. Flow routing; 5. The advection/wave equation; 6. Flexural isostasy; 7. Non-Newtonian flow equations; 8. Instabilities; 9. Stochastic processes; Appendix 1. Codes for solving the diffusion equation; Appendix 2. Codes for flow routing; Appendix 3. Codes for solving the advection equation; Appendix 4. Codes for solving the flexure equation; Appendix 5. Codes for modeling non-Newtonian flows; Appendix 6. Codes for modeling instabilities; Appendix 7. Codes for modeling stochastic processes; References; Index.

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Jon Pelletier was awarded a Ph.D. in geological sciences from Cornell University in 1997. Following two years at the California Institute of Technology as the O.K. Earl Prize Postdoctoral Scholar, he was made an associate professor of geosciences at the University of Arizona where he teaches geomorphology. Dr Pelletier's research involves mathematical modeling of a wide range of surface processes on Earth and other planets, including the evolution of mountain belts, the transport and deposition of dust in arid environments, and fluvial and glacial processes on Mars.

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