physical geography

'physical geography' can also refer to...

Geography, Physical.

Physical Geography

Geography, Physical

physical geography

Physical geography

physical geography

physical geography

Physical geography and geography as an environmental science

Heartland and Border: The Mental and Physical Geography of Medieval Europe

HENDERSON-SELLERS, Ann (born 1952), Professor, Department of Environment and Geography (formerly Physical Geography), Macquarie University, 2008–12, now Emeritus

HDL-cholesterol and physical performance: results from the ageing and longevity study in the sirente geographic area (ilSIRENTE Study)


GURNEY, Robert James (born 1951), Professor of Earth Observation Science (formerly of Physical Geography), University of Reading, since 1990

ANDERSON, Malcolm Grove (born 1949), Professor of Physical Geography, 1989–2012, Professorial Research Fellow, Department of Civil Engineering, since 2012, University of Bristol

CURRAN, Paul James (born 1955), Vice-Chancellor, and Professor of Physical Geography, City University London, since 2010

FROSTICK, Lynne Elizabeth (born 1949), Research Professor in Physical Geography, University of Hull, 2010–14, now Professor Emerita

MASLIN, Mark Andrew (born 1968), Professor of Physical Geography, University College London, since 2006 (Director, Environment Institute, 2006–10; Head, Department of Geography, 2007–11); Director, London NERC Doctoral Training Partnership, since 2014

DOWDESWELL, Julian Andrew (born 1957), Professor of Physical Geography, since 2001, and Director, Scott Polar Research Institute, since 2002, University of Cambridge; Fellow, Jesus College, Cambridge, since 2002


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‘Physical geography focuses upon the character of, and processes shaping, the land-surface of the Earth and its envelope, emphasizes the spatial variations that occur and the temporal changes necessary to understand the contemporary environments of the Earth. Its purpose is to understand how the Earth's physical environment is the basis for, and is affected by, human activity. Physical geography was conventionally subdivided into geomorphology, climatology, hydrology and biogeography, but is now more holistic in systems analysis of recent environmental and Quaternary change. It uses expertise in mathematical and statistical modelling and in remote sensing, develops research to inform environmental management and environmental design, and benefits from collaborative links with many other disciplines such as biology (especially ecology), geology and engineering’ (K. Gregory2002). Between 1850 and 1950, the main ideas that had a strong influence on the discipline were uniformitarianism, evolution, exploration and survey, and conservation (G. P. Marsh1864). In the 1960s, ‘a new type of physical geography began to emerge that accentuated a concern with dynamic processes of earth systems. This new approach, which has evolved to the present, is founded on basic physical, chemical, and biological principles and employs statistical and mathematical analysis. It has become known as the “process approach” to physical geography…Over the past fifteen years, physical geographers, who have always acknowledged that the systems they study are complex, have turned to emerging ideas in the natural sciences about nonlinear dynamical systems and complexity to explore the relevance of these ideas for understanding physical-geographic phenomena’ (Rhoads (2004) AAAG94, 4). ‘Advances in remote sensing, geographical information systems and information technology have enabled a more global approach; a second new development has been the advent of a more culturally-based approach throughout many branches of physical geography. By 2000 a series of issues can be identified including the increasingly holistic trend, greater awareness of a global approach and of environmental change problems, and of the timely opportunities which can arise from closer links with human geography and with other disciplines’ (Gregory (2001) Fennia 179, 1).

Subjects: Earth Sciences and Geography.

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