What are Earth surface environments & processes and why would anybody want to study them? Here I introduce the topic and explain the purpose of this website.


1. From a distance Earth is an object in space which radiates energy and receives energy; it also receives tiny amounts of materials, especially rocky and icy meteorites.

2. Looking closer, Earth is a machine, with moving parts. Plate tectonics drives the Earth crust to reorganise itself over timescales of millions of years. Movements are experienced in human lifetimes as earthquakes, volcanic eruptions and sea-level change, but over longer timescales movements have significant large-scale impacts on the oceans, atmosphere and solid structure.

3. Thus Earth has two principal components: A) solid Earth, and B) ocean-atmosphere that lies on the solid Earth. They are interlinked and each plays a part in the environment in which we live.

Earth surface environments are the conditions on the Earth surface (sea, lakes, rivers etc.), controlled by a combination of action of the processes (plate tectonics, volcanism, greenhouse warming etc.) in the solid Earth, oceans and atmosphere.

My research work focuses on processes and the environments using evidence in rocks. Click here to access my University webpage for more information about my teaching and research.

This website has two aims, reflecting its two major parts:

A) to explain, in an accessible way to a general audience, how Earth surface environments and processes influence our lives, both daily and long-term. A lot of the information presented here is educational, and is intended to make you think hard about the way the Earth works and therefore the issues of human impacts on the Earth. I cannot deal with the ALL Earth surface environments, because that is a superhuman task. Instead I present to you those parts of Earth surface environments and processes that I have studied directly, and also other work I am interested in.

B) to provide information of interest to geoscience researchers, lots of whom are colleagues I have known for many years. However, I invite all visitors to study all parts of this site, and not be frightened of some of the rather peculiar Earth-surface materials that are presented in parts of the site.


1) This website content will develop, with additions and changes. Please do revisit often to see if there are updates.

2) The appearance of the website varies with different browsers. Safari, Chrome, Firefox and Explorer all work well, but with small differences.

3) A few people have told me they find that the colours are rather too strong on parts of this website, but after a few visits get used to the bright jolly appearance. I hope the colours, and the content of the pages, will brighten your day and leave you with a feeling of uplifted spirits.

Best wishes




From some Canada geese I met on holiday in, erm, Canada (by the sea in Vancouver); they want to encourage a feeling of peace across species boundaries:

A cow expressing a new-found sense of freedom, Cwm Idwal, north Wales:

A small herd of cows having a long discussion on a nice sunny afternoon by the River Cam, Grantchester, near Cambridge, England:

Hopefully these images will make you feel more relaxed and happy, and able to deal better with the pressures of the day.

Click here to go to the GENERAL INTEREST PROJECTS page

Click here to go to the GEOSCIENCE RESEARCH PROJECTS page

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