Geomorphology and the Law of Unintended Consequences (Locke, 1691): Lessons from coastal weathering and erosion at Prawle (UK) and Kaikoura (NZ)

Derek N. Mottershead, Wayne J. Stephenson, Maree A. Hemmingsen

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    Abstract

    The sites of two field experiments based on micro-erosion metering, one in UK the other in New Zealand, were independently revisited respectively 33 and 17 years after installation. At both sites natural weathering and erosion processes had been inadvertently interrupted by the experimental works, leading to the development of new microscale landforms. These are interpreted in the context of modifications of the controls on weathering processes, leading to enhanced understanding of the processes themselves. This has lessons for the geomorphologist in maintaining a long-term watching brief over former experimental sites, lest some unintended and potentially beneficial outcome has ensued. This theme is embraced by the Law of Unintended Consequences.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1-11
    JournalGeomorphology
    Volume265
    Early online date21 Apr 2016
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 15 Jul 2016

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