The Anthropocene: is there a geomorphological case?
Article first published online: 28 JAN 2013
Copyright © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Earth Surface Processes and Landforms
Volume 38, Issue 4, pages 431–434, 30 March 2013
How to Cite
Brown, A. G., Tooth, S., Chiverrell, R. C., Rose, J., Thomas, D. S. G., Wainwright, J., Bullard, J. E., Thorndycraft, V. R., Aalto, R. and Downs, P. (2013), The Anthropocene: is there a geomorphological case?. Earth Surf. Process. Landforms, 38: 431–434. doi: 10.1002/esp.3368
- Issue published online: 19 MAR 2013
- Article first published online: 28 JAN 2013
- Accepted manuscript online: 12 NOV 2012 09:49AM EST
- Manuscript Accepted: 1 NOV 2012
- Manuscript Revised: 29 OCT 2012
- Manuscript Received: 3 AUG 2012
- human impact;
The ‘Anthropocene’, as used to describe the interval of recent Earth history during which humans have had an ‘overwhelming’ effect on the Earth system, is now being formally considered as a possible new geological Epoch. Such a new geological time interval (possibly equivalent to the Pleistocene Epoch) requires both theoretical justification as well as empirical evidence preserved within the geological record. Since the geological record is driven by geomorphological processes that produce terrestrial and near-shore stratigraphy, geomorphology has to be an integral part of this consideration. For this reason, the British Society for Geomorphology (BSG) has inaugurated a Fixed Term Working Group to consider this issue and advise the Society on how geomorphologists can engage with debates over the Anthropocene. This ESEX Commentary sets out the initial case for the formalisation of the Anthropocene and a priori considerations in the hope that it will stimulate debate amongst, and involvement by, the geomorphological community in what is a crucial issue for the discipline. The Working Group is now considering the practical aspects of such a formalization including the relative magnitude problem, the boundary problem and the spatial diachrony of ‘anthropogenic geomorphology’. Copyright © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.