By Dr. Richard J. Huggett (auth.)
Discussions of "systems" and the "systems method" are likely to fall into one in all different types: the panegyrical and the disparaging. students who compliment the platforms procedure accomplish that within the trust that it's a robust and unique approach to learn. students who attempt to shoot it down fail to spot any virtue in it; certainly, many deem it periIicious. Van Dyne (1980, p. 889) files a facetious remark he as soon as heard, the gist of which ran: "In situations the place there are from one to 2 variables in a research you have got a technology, the place there are from 4 to seven variables you may have an artwork, and the place there are greater than seven variables you've a system". This tilt on the structures procedure is gentle certainly in comparison with the com ments of an nameless reviewer of a paper on my own fascinated with the platforms procedure as utilized to the soil. The reviewer acknowledged bluntly that she or he had no time for an strategy which falsifies and belittles paintings that has been performed and is of no need for destiny paintings. My precis of the paper opened with the possible harmless sentence "The inspiration of the soil as a approach is put on a . formal footing through couching it when it comes to dynamical structures theory".
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Extra resources for Earth Surface Systems
Other statements championing a systems view of the soil followed. Nikiforoff (1959) emphasized the openness and dynamic nature of the soil. He saw that for a soil system to persist, incoming material must at least replace outgoing material. In the words of Buol et al. (1980, p. 11), "a soil is an evolving entity maintained in the midst of a stream of geologic, biologic, hydrologic, and 28 Simple and Complex Systems meteorologic material". Simonson (1959,1978) put forward a similar concept in his "outline of a generalized theory of soil genesis", while Yaalon (1960, 1971) discussed the soil system from the point of view of thermodynamic principles.
Huggett (1975) proposed the concept of the soil-landscape system as a unitary model for soil-landscape processes. He argued that materials in transit through landscapes form a more or less continuous series in terms of size, stability, and mobility. This idea has independently been put forward by Rose et al. (1979), who considered the dispersion of weathering products in the landscape (Fig. 3). Rose et al. regard bedrock as an immobile solid phase which weathers to form a mobile solid phase and a mobile liquid phase.
Re:. :a:. :s:. :. : e:. -. :. : 1 Q) . ' - ..... ~ ~ c § ..... n--,__ Precipitation Re-solution J~ ~ ~~ ~~ (f) ~ Estuarine and marine sediments Ocean water Fig. 3. The dispersion of weathering products. (Rose et al. 1979) down a slope and along a stream, trace continuous lines of flow which form an hierarchy of drainage basins (Fig. 2). For this reason, land-surface cascades are best studied in the context of the drainage basin. A case can be made for seeing the drainage basin as the fundamental unit of geomorphology (Chorley 1969a).