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Slopes: solute processes and landforms

Abstract: This chapter reviews research on solutes by fluvial geomorphologists in the period 1965–2000; growing links with biogeochemical research are emphasized later in the chapter. Brief reference is necessarily made to some research from before and after the study period. In relation to solutes, early research sought to relate short-term process observations to long-term landform evolution. However, very quickly, research moved into much more applied fields, less concerned with landforms and more concerned with biogeochemical processes. The drainage basin became the focus of research, with a wide range of interest including nutrient loss from agricultural and forested landscapes to dissolved organic carbon export from peatlands. In particular, the terrestrial–aquatic ecotone became a focus for research, emphasizing the distinctive processes operating in the riparian zone and their contribution to river-water protection from land-derived pollutants. By the end of the period, the scale and range of fluvial geomorphology had been greatly transformed from what it had been in 1965, providing a distinctive contribution to the broader field of biogeochemistry, as well as an ongoing contribution to the study of Earth surface processes and landforms.
Keywords: evolution / fluvial / chapter / solutes / distinctive / biogeochemical / concerned with landforms / focus of research / study

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