Glacial Geologic Processes



There has long been a need for a book that assembles the diverse information about the processes by which glaciers deposit sediments and create and modify landforms. Drewry has succeeded in compiling much of this material in a very accessible format in Glacial Geologic Processes. In addition, instead of limiting himself strictly to the action of glaciers on their substrates, he has included detailed coverage of processes occurring in preglacial streams, lakes, and fjords. The final chapters are devoted to glacimarine processes related to ice shelves, glacier tongues, icebergs, and sea ice.

As he states in the preface, Drewry wrote this book in an attempt to bridge the sizable gap between purely glaciological texts, such as H. Paterson's excellent introduction Physics of Glaciers (Pergamon Press, New York, 1981) and the rather descriptive texts currently used by geologists and geomorphologists interested in the products of ice activity on Earth's surface. Drewry does fill much of this important gap by providing a detailed, coherent, and comprehensive overview of the primary processes that manifest themselves in glacial landforms and deposits. However, geologists are likely to experience some slight frustration with Glacial Geologic Processes because no attempt is made to connect the independent treatments of individual processes within a general framework that is conducive to improving our understanding of large-scale glacial landforms and deposits. I must stress that this shortcoming is largely a reflection of the very limited nature of our understanding of the connections between glacial processes and landforms. Nevertheless, it is surprising that Drewry seldom outlines the path between process and form.