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Geoscientist Online

Geology and Geomorphology of Alluvial and Fluvial Fans: Terrestrial and Planetary Perspectives

Ventra Geomorphology alluvial fluvial fansThe volume is made up of 16 papers divided into three sections. The first section is, in part, an introduction to alluvial and fluvial fans, the second part is a report on the progress on studying the fans, while the third part discusses potential areas for further research. The other two sections of the volume are on alluvial and fluvial fans. Each paper is written to be able to stand alone.

The volume presents a clear distinction between alluvial and fluvial fans. The definitions and descriptions of the geologic and geomorphic differences between the fan types establishes a common ground for discussion in the volume and is helpful for workers at all levels of competency. Several papers show the relationships between sediment sources and channels near the fan head, as well as changes in either local geomorphology or climate. However, none of the papers address the changes in fan characteristics with respect to strike-slip faulting along a range front and the lateral defection of fans as a mapping tool. Many faults along mountain fronts are highlighted by offset drainages in fans; however, this basic tool is not discussed.

The value of the volume could be increased by adding papers covering topics such as the hazards of building on or the development of water resources within fans, as well as concerns regarding mining fans for building materials. In addition, the volume contains only one paper on alluvial and fluvial features on Titan. This deficiency suggests that the number of planetary papers should have been increased in the volume or that the Titan paper should have been contained in a sister volume.

Overall, the volume is a helpful general resource for descriptions of mainly terrestrial alluvial and fluvial fans. I found the volume useful, especially after reading it a second time. I recommend the volume for persons who are not all that familiar with describing and understanding the growth and general features found in many alluvial and fluvial fans, and as a secondary resource reference for classes in geomorphology and sedimentary geology.

Reviewed by Robert Anderson

GEOLOGY AND GEOMORPHOLOGY OF ALLUVIAL AND FLUVIAL FANS: TERRESTRIAL AND PLANETARY PERSPECTIVES, by D. Ventra & L.E. Clarke (eds) 2018. Published by The Geological Society of London, SP 440, ISBN: 978-1-78620-267-3 List Price: £ 100.00 Fellow’s Price: £ 50.00 W: https://www.geolsoc.org.uk/SP440