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Oxford University Press is a department of the University of Oxford. It furthers the University's objective of excellence in research, scholarship, and education by publishing worldwide.

Print Price: $159.95

Mixed Media
776 pp.
294 photos (4 colour), 203 maps (4 colour), 244 illustrations (4 colour), 9" x 11"


Copyright Year:

Imprint: OUP Canada

Physical Geography

The Global Environment, Second Edition

H. J. de Blij, Peter O. Muller, Richard S. Williams, Catherine T. Conrad and Peter Long

Physical Geography: The Global Environment introduces students to the Earth and the way in which human interaction has shaped the Earth's evolution. In this much-anticipated second Canadian Edition, Professors Cathy Conrad and Peter Long seamlessly incorporate significant Canadian data and examples while maintaining Harm de Blij's international approach to the five major components of the Earth - atmosphere, hydrosphere, lithosphere, cryosphere, and biosphere. This edition adds a wealth of Canadian information on topics ranging from wind patterns to landscape types, permafrost to drought, and water use to soil classification. The result is a comprehensive and authoritative text that is truly global in scope.

Specific to the Canadian Edition:
* Provides Canadian and international data and examples
* Presents relevant topics to Canadian audience: chinooks, cold weather hazards, permafrost, and glaciation
* Metric measurements
* Canadian sources cited in the end-of-chapter material
* Canadian photos
* Maps include all of North America where appropriate
* Pedagogical boxes relate to Canada
* Soil formation, classification, and mapping employ the Canadian System of Soil Classification
* Compares US and Canadian soil classification systems

Major revisions to the second Canadian Edition:
* All tables and figures have been updated to include the most current data
* Information on climate change has been updated and includes current, relevant examples
* Additional information on heat balance and radiation has been included along with equations
* Increased material on GIS and Remote Sensing
* In-depth treatment of adiabatic lapse rates and atmospheric stability
* New material on natural hazards and severe weather
* New chapter devoted specifically to weathering processes and soils

Readership : Suitable for first- and second-year, introductory courses in physical geography offered at the university level.

From the Publisher
Part One: A Global Perspective
1. Introducing Physical Geography
2. The Planet Earth
3. Mapping the Earth's Surface
Part Two: Atmosphere and Hydrosphere
4. Earth's Setting in Space
5. Composition and Structure of the Atmosphere
6. Radiation and the Heat Balance of the Atmosphere
7. Atmospheric and Surface Temperature
8. Air Pressure and Winds
9. Circulation Patterns of the Atmosphere
10. Hydrosphere: Circulation of the World Ocean
11. Atmospheric Moisture and the Water Balance
12. Precipitation, Air Masses, and Fronts
13. Weather Systems
14. Severe Weather
15. Weather Tracking and Forecasting
16. Climate Classification and Regionalization
17. Global Climates
18. Dynamics of Past and Present Climate Change
19. Human-Climate Interactions and Impacts
Part Three: The Restless Crust
20. Planet Earth in Profile: The Layered Interior
21. Impact Cratering
22. Minerals and Igneous Rocks
23. Sedimentary and Metamorphic Rocks
24. Lithospheric Plates and Plate Movement
25. Volcanism and Its Landforms
26. Earthquakes and Landscapes
27. Surface Expressions of Subsurface Structures
Part Four: Sculpting the Surface
28. The Formation of Landscapes and Landforms
29. Weathering Processes
30. Slope Processes
31. Water in the Lithosphere
32. Slopes and Streams
33. Stream Erosion
34. Aggradational Landforms of Streams
35. Karst Processes and Landforms
36. Glacial Degradation and Aggradation
37. Landforms and Landscapes of Continental Ice Sheets and Mountain Glaciers
38. Fluvioglacial Processes, Deposits, and Landforms
39. Periglacial Environments and Landscapes
40. Arid Environments and Wind as a Geomorphological Agent
41. Coastal Processes
42. Coastal Landforms and Landscapes
Part Five: The Biosphere
43. Climate, Soil, Plants, and Animals
44. Formation and Physical Properties of Soils
45. Classification and Mapping of Soils
46. Biogeographic Processes
47. The Global Distribution of Plants
48. Zoogeography: Spatial Aspects of Animal Populations
Appendix A: SI and Customary Units and Their Conversions
Glossary of Terms

Image Bank
PowerPoint Slides
Test Generator
Student CD with Animations
Student Study Guide
Lab Manual
Links to Other Units

H. J. de Blij is a John A. Hannah Professor at Michigan State University, where he also taught throughout the decade of the 1960s. In the interim, he chaired the Geography Department at the University of Miami and served as editor at the National Geographic Society. He specializes in geopolitical and environmental issues, and has held named chairs at Georgetown University, Marshall University, and the Colorado School of Mines. Peter O. Muller has taught at the University of Miami since 1980 and chaired the Department from 1980 to 2000. He is an urban geographer with research and teaching interests in the geography of suburbanization, urban structural transformation, and the management of international urban problems. He is currently Book Review Editor for the two journals published by the Association of American Geographers, The Annals of the AAG and The Professional Geographer. Richard S. Williams, Jr. is a research geologist who uses airborne and satellite remote sensing to monitor changes in the Earth's glaciers (particularly sensitive indicators of global warming). He is author of more than 200 books, papers, and maps. He holds a doctorate in geology from Penn State, is a fellow of the AAAS, the Geological Society of America, and a foreign fellow of the Icelandic Science Society. Two glaciers in Antarctica are named for him. Cathy T. Conrad is a specialist in environmental and watershed management. She teaches physical geography, oceans, and weather and climate courses at Saint Mary's University where she is an Associate Professor, Program Advisor, and Departmental Chair. Peter Long is a geomorphologist who teaches introductory physical geography and all levels of geomorphology at York University where he is a full Professor. In addition, he is the coordinator of the physical geography laboratory.

Canadian Oxford World Atlas - Edited by Quentin Stanford
Making Sense in Geography and Environmental Sciences - Margot Northey, Dianne Draper and David B. Knight
Geomorphology - Alan S. Trenhaile

Special Features

  • Integrated equations. Pertinent scientific and numeric equations have been integrated throughout this edition making required information available to students at their fingertips.
  • Student-friendly organization. The 48 self-contained units are easy for students to digest and can be taught in any order. Marginal cross-references make it simple for students to make connections as they learn.
  • Accessible. Concepts are explained in a clear and direct manner with straightforward language, ensuring that complex subjects are easy to grasp.
  • Eye-catching design. Fully redesigned and four-colour throughout, this text is a joy to look at, appealing to students and instructors alike.
  • Canadian and global perspectives. Examples from Canada and throughout the world have been included to provide students with a well-rounded treatment of the subject.
  • Studies 5 spheres. Physical Geography is the only book to cover the cryosphere in addition to the four areas typically covered in other texts - atmosphere, hydrosphere, biosphere, and lithosphere.
  • Versatile approach. Makes a strong connection between human and physical geography, reflecting current teaching trends in the discipline.
  • The Canadian Oxford World Atlas correlation guide is designed to deepen student's ability to use and enjoy our book, while developing skills in reading and using atlases.
New to this Edition
  • NEW! More details on Canadian contributions to mapping and technology, including Geographic Information Systems.
  • NEW! Reorganization of units to better reflect modern teaching themes in introductory physical geography courses.
  • NEW! Enhanced content related to weather and climate, with the inclusion of fundamental mathematical concepts on those topics.
  • NEW! Material on wind systems and the Coriolis force.
  • NEW! Inclusion of content on the Pacific Decadal Oscillation and Arctic Oscillation, which, with the North Atlantic Oscillation, are increasingly understood to drive decadal-scale fluctuations in global climate.
  • NEW! More content on precipitation processes.
  • NEW! 'Perspectives on the Human Environment' boxes have been updated and include coverage on fog as a particularly Canadian hazard, Mount Everst and the jet stream, carbon footprints, near-Earth objects and the movies, the Northwest Passage, the significance of Iceland as a living laboratory for physical geographical research, and dunes and the growth of the game of golf.
  • NEW! Updated with current and relevant information on humans, climate change, and weather, including sections on smog, green technologies, and weather modification.
  • NEW! Units on severe weather, impact cratering, and fluvioglacial processes and landforms.
  • NEW! Expanded coverage on all aspects of soils and vegetation, and on human impacts on soils.
  • NEW! Added material on lakes, biogeochemical cycling, and arid environments and aeolian processes.
  • NEW! A completely revised Glossary.