Deserts and Desert Environments

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John Wiley & Sons, Jan 28, 2009 - Science - 360 pages
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Taking a global perspective, this book provides a concise overview of drylands, including their physical, biological, temporal, and human components.

  • Examines the physical systems occurring in desert environments, including climate, hydrology, past and present lakes, weathering, hillslopes, geomorphic surfaces, water as a geomorphic agent, and aeolian processes
  • Offers an accessible introduction to the physical, biological, temporal, and human components of drylands
  • Investigates the nature, environmental requirements, and essential geomorphic roles of plants and animals in this stressful biological environment
  • Highlights the impact of human population growth on climate, desertification, water resources, and dust storm activity
  • Includes an examination of surface/atmosphere interactions and the impact of ENSO events.
  

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Contents

INTRODUCTION DEFINING THE DESERT SYSTEM
1
DESERTS OF THE WORLD
14
THE CLIMATIC FRAMEWORK
48
THE HYDROLOGIC FRAMEWORK
71
LAKE SYSTEMS PAST AND PRESENT
98
WEATHERING PROCESSES AND HILLSLOPE SYSTEMS
122
DESERT SOILS AND GEOMORPHIC SURFACES
148
WATER AS A GEOMORPHIC AGENT
168
LANDFORMS OF AEOLIAN EROSION AND DESERT DUST
216
PLANT COMMUNITIES AND THEIR GEOMORPHIC IMPACTS
237
ANIMAL COMMUNITIES
259
DESERTIFICATION AND THE HUMAN DIMENSION
267
REFERENCES
285
INDEX
320
Colour Plates
343
Copyright

AEOLIAN PROCESSES
186

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About the author (2009)

Julie Laity is a Professor at California State University, Northridge, USA. Her work has focused on deserts, looking at aeolian, fluvial, and groundwater systems, and the impact of environmental degradation on wind-blown sand and dust events. Her research on groundwater-sapping systems and wind erosion has been used to aid our understanding of Martian environments.

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