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Keywords:

  • geomorphological processes;
  • geomorphological modelling;
  • process monitoring;
  • development of geomorphology;
  • new technologies

Abstract

This Special Issue of Earth Surface Processes and Landforms develops from the ‘Geomorphology: a 2020 Vision’ Annual Conference of the British Society for Geomorphology, organised at the University of Birmingham, UK, in July 2007. Entitled ‘New Developments in Process Understanding and Modelling in Geomorphology’, the Issue comprises a vibrant selection of 10 ‘process’ papers from leading researchers in geomorphological processes who presented at Birmingham. It aims to provide a readily accessible source of new and emerging ideas in understanding different landform processes across a range of space and time scales, based on innovations in geomorphological modelling and monitoring. The last few years have seen significant and exciting changes in geomorphology, especially in conceptual developments, numerical simulations, monitoring methodologies, data-acquisition strategies and dating techniques. The resultant empirical datasets, theory development and modelling results have generated substantial advances in the understanding of geomorphological processes, form-process feedbacks, scale impacts, long-term landform evolution, the effects of climate and environmental change, and human impacts and management strategies. The Special Issue attempts to address the following key challenges: (a) to build on our Conference theme ‘Geomorphology: a 2020 Vision’, by identifying fundamental areas where doors need to be opened, for example in theory development, conceptual understanding, model evaluation, integration of the chemistry, physics, biology and mathematics of geomorphological processes, experimental validation, data needs and monitoring requirements; (b) to look forward to the next decade and beyond, and critically examine some of the approaches we will need for the questions ahead; and (c) to stimulate new research in the geomorphological sciences by highlighting both research gaps and promising developments, including emerging process modelling approaches, monitoring technologies and robust datasets. Copyright © 2010 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.