Geographia Polonica (2003) vol. 76, iss. 2

Extreme events in the context of late Quaternary environmental change

Michael F. Thomas

Geographia Polonica (2003) vol. 76, iss. 2, pp. 139-156 | Full text

Abstract

The significance of extreme events in landform change is discussed in the context of the late Quaternary. Millennia-scale cycles of climate change are less than the relaxation times of most landform systems and have led to widespread disequilibrium in natural landscapes. Slope failu-res and fluvial systems show parallel evolutionary trends in high and low latitudes, resulting from late Quaternary environmental changes. The transformation of geomorphic systems appears to require millennia of preparation time and research needs to establish the role of individual events within this timescale of enquiry.

Keywords: climate change, extreme events, fluvial systems, slope failures

Michael F. Thomas, School of Biological and Environmental Sciences, University of Stirling, Stirling FK9 4LA, Scotland, UK