An Introduction to Physical Geography and the Environment eBook, 4th Edition

Joseph Holden

An Introduction to Physical Geography and the Environment eBook, 4th Edition

By Joseph Holden
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Joseph Holden
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This highly respected and best-selling textbook provides an accessible, engaging and comprehensive introduction to the major topics within physical geography. It focuses on understanding the inter-linkages between processes, places and environments and is comprehensively illustrated to demonstrate how the physical environment works.

Now in its 4th edition, the book has been thoroughly updated throughout to contain the latest research. Between them, the contributors have researched in detail every environment on the planet, providing an unrivalled source of rich information from around the world for both undergraduate and postgraduate study in the field of physical geography.


Joseph Holden is Professor of Physical Geography at the School of Geography and also the Dean of Research for the Faculty of Environment, University of Leeds.

  • Each chapter is written by a leading specialist in the field to provide informative, expert and practical coverage.
  • A range of in-text features aid independent study including case studies, reflective questions, highlighted glossary terms and annotated further reading.
  • Boxed features, including Case Studies, Fundamental Principles, Techniques, Hazards and New Directions help apply knowledge to the real world.
  • An impressively wide range of examples from around the world illustrates the physical environment with truly global scope. 
Table of contents
  • Preface to the fourth edition
  • List of contributors
  • Editor’s acknowledgements
  • Part I: The role of physical geography
  • Chapter 1. Approaching physical geography
  • Part II: Continent and oceans
  • Chapter 2. Earth geology and tectonics
  • Chapter 3. Oceans
  • Part III: Past, present and future climate and weather
  • Chapter 4. The Pleistocene
  • Chapter 5. The Holocene
  • Chapter 6. Atmospheric processes
  • Chapter 7. Contemporary climate change
  • Chapter 8. Global climate and weather
  • Chapter 9. Regional and local climates
  • Part IV: Biogeography and ecology
  • Chapter 10. The biosphere
  • Chapter 11. Ecosystem processes
  • Chapter 12. Freshwater ecosystems
  • Chapter 13. Vegetation and climate change
  • Part V: Geomorphology and hydrology
  • Chapter 14. Weathering
  • Chapter 15. Slope processes and landform evolution
  • Chapter 16. Sediments and sedimentation
  • Chapter 17. Soils
  • Chapter 18. Catchment hydrology
  • Chapter 19. Fluvial geomorphology and river management
  • Chapter 20. Solutes and water quality
  • Chapter 21. Drylands
  • Chapter 22. Coasts
  • Chapter 23. Glaciers and ice sheets
  • Chapter 24. Permafrost and periglaciation
  • Part VI: Monitoring and management
  • Chapter 25. Monitoring environmental change
  • Chapter 26. Dealing with hazards and environmental change