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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good beginner's Geomorph text
Ritter's book "Process Geomorphology" is one of the better books available to elementary students in Geomorphology. The book is divided into logical categories and contains a plethora of useful diagrams, maps and graphs. This book is especially useful for those who have had only a little background in Physical Geology or Earth History and want to explore earth...
Published on September 25, 2001 by Josh

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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good book, one critical flaw
This is a very well illustrated book, but it has one serious flaw if it is being used by geologists. It doesn't give much/any attention to the structural control of features on the landscape. (i.e., how folds and faults in bedrock control fluvial erosion, etc.). This is standard in many geomorphology texts. Unfortunately, the other good Geomorphology books are out of...
Published on August 2, 2007 by John A. Luczaj


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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good book, one critical flaw, August 2, 2007
By 
John A. Luczaj "rockdoc" (Green Bay, Wisconsin, USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Process Geomorphology (Paperback)
This is a very well illustrated book, but it has one serious flaw if it is being used by geologists. It doesn't give much/any attention to the structural control of features on the landscape. (i.e., how folds and faults in bedrock control fluvial erosion, etc.). This is standard in many geomorphology texts. Unfortunately, the other good Geomorphology books are out of date from the 1990s.

Meteorite impact craters have gained much more attention lately as well, and they also deserve at least a few pages of attention. Otherwise, I'd give it 4 or 5 stars.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not quite ready, September 12, 2009
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This review is from: Process Geomorphology (Paperback)
I am currently teaching a university level geomorphology course using this text and find myself constantly wishing I had chosen another. I have five primary complaints about the book.

1) Some of the tools required to make a book like this one truly useful are simply missing or inadequate. Geomorphology is a terminology-laden science, and the lack of a glossary is a very significant shortcoming of the book. A good glossary - one including page references to detailed explanations/descriptions in the text would greatly increase the value of the book. The index is also deficient. In preparation for the course I began by creating several exercises that I definitely wanted to use, and in more than one case couldn't find an index reference to an important concept or term. However, in scanning the appropriate chapter the item is not only included but given considerable treatment. One example may help to make the point. The Hjulstrom diagram is the most accessible tool for students to relate current velocity to transported particle size despite the date of Hjulstrom's original work (1939). Hjulstrom is not included in the index though his 1939 paper is included in the list of references, and the diagram is included in the text.

2) Overall the book (fourth edition) has the appearance of a rough draft comprised of diagrams and pieces of text hurriedly cobbled together with emphasis on completeness rather than continuity, leaving need for a careful editing. As a result the text does not flow and explanations are sometimes so sketchy that someone not already familiar with the material will probably find it to be essentially unreadable. In part this results from what I assume is the absence of an editor and in part from an attempt to include more in a single text than can reasonably be included. The result, however, is likely to be unsatisfactory for the reader attempting to understand the complexities of the subject and frustrating to the instructor who has to spend class time explaining material that should be easily understandable from the text.

3) Another reviewer has mentioned the short shrift given to the geology that underlies - and in many instances controls - the morphology. Although the emphasis of the book is on the processes of geomorphology, this omission is rather severe when using the text with a class of geology students. I find it particularly difficult to understand this omission with two of the three authors being geologists. I'm supplementing the text in this area with copies of Dake and Brown "Interpretation of Topographic and Geologic Maps" (1925, reprinted 1953) that are readily available as discards from libraries where it is not understood that there is no more recent substitute.

4) Many concepts are explained so briefly that I find it difficult to believe they will be understood by the students for whom the book is written. An example of this is the description of stream numbering systems. This topic covers the work of Horton which brought the basic concepts to the awareness of geomorphologists in 1945 and refinements by Strahler and Shreve. It is entirely appropriate to describe all three of these systems as they all appear in the literature and the student should be forewarned of the multiplicity of numbering systems as well as the shortcomings of early efforts. However, in Figure 5.17 which attempts to illustrate the three, it is impossible to distinguish for example between order 1 and 2 streams of Horton because the same line pattern is used for both. Simply redrafting these figures using different symbols would make the distinction clear, something accomplished by neither Figure 5.17 nor the accompanying text.

5) Many of the photographs are difficult to interpret. Having begun my exploration of this topic in the days of few photos and many skillfully constructed line drawings I would reduce the number of photos and produce a line drawing to accompany and explain each. Just as cartoonists convey complex images with only a few lines, the same abstraction of the essence of the image would add significantly to many of the photos, making the message more accessible.

I have complained about the book, but there are some especially strong points the should be pointed out.

1) This text has by far the most extensive bibliography I have ever seen in a textbook at this level. The ability to follow a topic directly from text to primary source would be most important in a graduate course rather than an introductory one for which this book is intended, but I find it to be a particular strength of the book.

2) Having first studied geomorphology half a century ago I find the inclusion of many examples from planets other than the earth to be useful. For example in discussion of headward extension of tributary valleys the authors use examples both Martian and terrestrial to illustrate the concept of groundwater sapping. Showing similarities such as this helps to emphasize the concept rather than the specific locality or example. In this particular instance I would like to have seen an explanation that the springs MUST BE localized at the head of the tributary because the aquifer has already been drained downslope from the head; raising the question of whether the spring is the chicken or perhaps only the egg.

All in all I find the deficiencies to outweigh the positive attributes as an undergraduate text or for self-study.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good beginner's Geomorph text, September 25, 2001
By 
Josh (Ames, IA USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Process Geomorphology (Paperback)
Ritter's book "Process Geomorphology" is one of the better books available to elementary students in Geomorphology. The book is divided into logical categories and contains a plethora of useful diagrams, maps and graphs. This book is especially useful for those who have had only a little background in Physical Geology or Earth History and want to explore earth processes such as weathering, erosion, fluvial and eolian processes at depth. It is worthy of a read and is worth the price. 4 Stars!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Very Detailed, September 19, 2007
By 
MyChele Twin2 "Michele" (Port Charlotte, Florida, USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Process Geomorphology (Paperback)
This book is very detailed, even explaining the common sense concepts. The writer asks questions that I would not be interested in asking or knowing the answers to,then gives the answer. For someone who would like to specialize in the study of geomorphology, this book may be more interesting. For me, is was very boring to read, and too detailed to absorp the general concepts.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Solid textbook, March 24, 2008
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This review is from: Process Geomorphology (Paperback)
This is a solid introductory geomorphology book. As a scientist from another field (physics) I needed a basic reference to understand notation and the basic foundations of geomorphology, specifically dealing with sediment transport, and this was a good match. It's not a textbook I'd buy if I didn't need it, but it's a very helpful source.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Interesting book, December 26, 2013
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This review is from: Process Geomorphology (Paperback)
It is a very god book about general Geomorphology. I hope you can advertise new and updated books related to tropical geomorphology
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2.0 out of 5 stars Very dense on some topics, vague on others, August 27, 2013
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This review is from: Process Geomorphology (Paperback)
This text was for a geomorphology class I took recently. While I find geomorphology quite interesting, this text is DENSE at times. It took me quite a bit of time to get through some of the material (especially slope stability and fluvial processes). I recommend ordering another geomorphology text to accompany this one. You can get main ideas from the easier to understand text and look at this one for specific details. I found myself often referencing back to my intro. geography book. Also, the authors' writing leaves some things very open ended and the professor didn't like that the book left out information on geologic time scale.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Bought for a class, now a dust collector on the shelf, May 23, 2013
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This review is from: Process Geomorphology (Paperback)
This book is extremely detailed and in depth . . . but good grief is it a snore to read. This is clearly 'college - level" reading as in it makes a great reference book, but not something you would want to just pick up and read as a refresher.
On the more cheerful side: I bought this on Amazon for about $65 which was way cheaper than the $110 the college book store wanted, so that lessens the sting. I considered selling it back, but I have heard (unconfirmed) that a replacement is on its way next year so I would have got about $10. Instead I will keep it as reference as it is a good source for such things and it does not eat much.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Easy to read-Encompasses a lot, January 8, 2013
This review is from: Process Geomorphology (Paperback)
I used this book in a geomorphology class I took and feel that it contained a wide range of topics, with good detail about each. The pics are black and white, but the graphs/charts and diagrams are very clear. Some books are miserable when your cramming the night before an exam. This is not one of them.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Boring, January 3, 2013
This review is from: Process Geomorphology (Paperback)
As a geology major this is an interesting topic. Unfortunately this book is all black and white, which makes it a little difficult to get the full ideas from pictures. The writing was also rather dry. I got so bored of reading it. Quit after the third chapter and still managed to get an A in my process geomorphology class though so it worked out okay. The book often spent a whole paragraph explaining why it didn't have time to go into detail on a particular subject, which I thought was kind of ironic.
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Process Geomorphology
Process Geomorphology by Dale F. Ritter (Paperback - February 1, 2011)
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