nerc.ac.uk

Humans as major geological and geomorphological agents in the Anthropocene: the significance of artificial ground in Great Britain

Price, Simon J.; Ford, Jonathan R.; Cooper, Anthony H.; Neal, Catherine. 2011 Humans as major geological and geomorphological agents in the Anthropocene: the significance of artificial ground in Great Britain. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London, A, 369 (1938). 1056-1084. 10.1098/rsta.2010.0296

Before downloading, please read NORA policies.
[img] Text
ANTHROPOCENE_PRICE_ET_AL_HUMANS_AS_GEOLOGICAL_AGENTS_PRE_PUB_VERSION.pdf

Download (1999Kb)

Abstract/Summary

Since the first prehistoric people started to dig for stone to make implements, rather than pick up loose material, humans have modified the landscape through excavation of rock and soil, generation of waste and creation of artificial ground. In Great Britain over the past 200 years, people have excavated, moved and built up the equivalent of at least six times the volume of Ben Nevis. It is estimated that the worldwide deliberate annual shift of sediment by human activity is 57 000 Mt (million tonnes) and exceeds that of transport by rivers to the oceans (22 000 Mt) almost by a factor of three. Humans sculpt and transform the landscape through the physical modification of the shape and properties of the ground. As such, humans are geological and geomorphological agents and the dominant factor in landscape evolution through settlement and widespread industrialization and urbanization. The most significant impact of this has been since the onset of the Industrial Revolution in the eighteenth century, coincident with increased release of greenhouse gases to the atmosphere. The anthropogenic sedimentological record, therefore, provides a marker on which to characterize the Anthropocene.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): 10.1098/rsta.2010.0296
Programmes: BGS Programmes 2010 > Land Use, Planning and Development
ISSN: 1364-503X
Date made live: 04 Feb 2011 14:39
URI: http://nora.nerc.ac.uk/id/eprint/13318

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item

Document Downloads

More statistics for this item...