The tropics provide the key to understanding much biological and Earth science. This is particularly true for the study of landforms, which in higher latitudes suffer great seasonal contrasts in process intensity and type, and which often in the past underwent the dramatic changes of glaciation and periglaciation. Yet studies in the tropics have shown that the legacy of past climate changes is much more dramatic than was formerly believed. This book, first published in 1985, brings together the variety of evidence about such environmental changes, over a variety of timescales, and sets it against the current knowledge of the nature of geomorphic processes in the tropics.
Part 1. Introduction 1. The History of Geomorphology in Low Latitudes I. Douglas and T. Spencer 2. The Significance of Environmental Change: Diversity, Disturbance and Tropical Ecosystems I. Douglas and T. Spencer Part 2. Environment and Process 3. Present-Day Processes as a Key to the Effects of Environmental Change I. Douglas and T. Spencer 4. Aspects of Present-Day Processes in the Seasonally Wet Tropics of West Africa J.-M. Avenard and P. Michel 5. The Influence of Climate, Lithology and Time on Drainage Density and Relief Development on the Tropical Volcanic Terrain of the Windward Islands R.P.D. Walsh 6. Surface and Underground Fluvial Activity in the Gunung Mulu National Park, Sarawak P.L. Smart, P.A. Bull, J. Rose, M. Laverty, H. Friederich and M. Noel Part 3. Environmental Change 7. Relevance of Quaternary Palynology to Geomorphology in the Tropics and the Subtropics J.R. Flenley 8. Geomorphic Implications of Late Quaternary Hydrological and Climatic Changes in the Northern Hemisphere Tropics F.A. Street-Perrott, N. Roberts and S. Metcalf 9. Evidence from Lake Sediments for Recent Erosion Rates in the Highlands of Papua New Guinea F. Oldfield, A.T. Worsley and P.G. Appleby 10. Evidence of Upper Pleistocene Dry Climates in Northern South America J. Tricart 11. Pleistocene Aridity in Tropical Africa, Australia and Asia M.A.J. Williams Part 4. Landform Evolution 12. Environmental Change and Episodic Etchplantation in the Humid Tropics of Sierra Leone: the Koidu Etchplain M.F. Thomas and M.B. Thorp 13. A Provisional World Map of Duricrust M. Petit 14. Tectonic Background to Long-Term Landform Development in Tropical Africa M.A. Summerfield 15. Soil and Slope Development in the Wet Zone of Sri Lanka H. Bremer 16. Relief Generation and Soil in the Dry Zone of Sri Lanka H. Späth Part 5. Conclusion 17. Findings, Answers to Questions and Implications for the Future I. Douglas and T. Spencer