Since 1998 an informal group of graduate students and researchers have collected together twice a year somewhere in the British landscape, usually centred on a fine hostelry or even a fixed caravan site, to sample the landforms and sediments of glaciated basins. This informal gathering is the Glacial Landsystems Working Group. It reports to no parent body and it receives no formal funding but for me has served as an important testing ground for the landsystems concept and its application to glaciated terrain. The 'GLWG', as it has been endearingly termed, has provided a vehicle for field-based discussion and critique. The range of expertise on hand during any one meeting pools the knowledge of landform-sediment associations process-form relationships, modern analogues and theory. It rapidly became evident that the glacial community might benefit greatly from a suite of examples or templates of glacial landsystems that were informed by our ever-improving understanding of modern glacier systems.
When I took on the role of convenor for the Subglacial Processes Working Group of the INQUA Commission on Glaciation in 1999 it was one ofmy goals to compile a collection ofglacial landsystems based upon modern research in both modern and ancient glacial settings. This book represents the fruits of my labours since then, and it is timely that it will be in production as we assemble for the INQUA Congress in Reno in 2003. The seventeen chapters ofthis book, written by specialists working in a wide range of glaciated environments, expand upon the glacial landsystems concept previously developed in textbooks by Nick Eyles in 1983 and by Doug Benn and myself in 1998. It is becoming increasingly evident that a better understanding of glacial landscapes stems from the integration of landform-sediment assemblages over large areas and that process-form models are best informed by modern process observations. The landsystems approach allows us to develop both of these research arenas and, with their integration, to contribute significant proxy data towards palaeoclimatic reconstruction. The chapters of this book offer a wide ranging, but by no means comprehensive, collection of glacial landsystems models. They are intended to act as catalysts for future research on glaciated basins, highlighting the value of holistic approaches to landform development.
In completing this book I have been aided by the considerable efforts of Yvonne Finlayson, Mike Shand and Les Hill, the technicians in Geography and Geomatics at the University of Glasgow, who I am sure from time to time wish that glacial geomorphology was not so diagram intensive! Liz Gooster at Arnold has been extraordinarily patient with our tardy completion rates and I'm sure will be glad to see this one on the bookshelves. Finally, Tessa, Tara and Lotte have given me the time and space to follow this project through when it was invading our home as well as my office—my mind will no longer be miles away when I'm reading those bedtime stories.
David J.A. Evans Glasgow 2003
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