The Liwu River runs a short course; its channel head at the water divide in Taiwan's Central Range is a mere 35 km from its outflow into the Pacific Ocean. But in those short 35 km, the Liwu has carved one of the world's geographic wonders: the spectacular Taroko Gorge with marble and granite walls soaring nearly 1000 m above the river channel.
Taroko Gorge was a fitting venue for a 2003 Penrose Conference that addressed the coupled processes of tectonics, climate, and landscape evolution. The young mountains, extreme weather, and dramatic landforms provided an appropriate backdrop to wide-ranging discussions of geomorphic processes, climate and meteorology, sediment generation and transport, the effects of erosion on tectonics, and new analytical and modeling tools used to address these processes and problems. This volume's papers extend that discussion, reaching across fields that have experienced rapid advances in the past decade.