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Prof. Tony Brown, University of Southampton



The BSG Anthropocene Fixed Term Working Group was established for one year initially (2012-2013) but has been extended for a second year. The purpose of the Working Group is to consider the implications of the possible adoption of the Anthropocene as a new geological time interval which would include the late Holocene. Of all the disciplines of Earth Sciences, this proposal could affect geomorphology the most, given that many studies of Earth-surface processes and landforms take place within late Holocene timescales. Therefore, it was felt by the promoters of the Working Group that geomorphology as a discipline should be an integral element in this debate and during its first year the Working Group has promoted this view.

Following from the terms of reference the Working Group has:

a. Publicised the Anthropocene debate amongst geomorphologists through dedicated sessions organised, or part co-organised, by members of the Working Group. This has included sessions at the 2012 QRA Annual Meeting and the 2012 AGU Annual Fall Meeting (see press release) and will include sessions at the 2013 EGU Annual General Meeting (seeGM4.2/SSS6.12: Landscape in the Anthropocene: state of the art and future directions and the 2013 BSG Annual Meeting); 
b. Collated members’ views and comments by hosting a questionnaire on the BSG website (though more are still welcome; 
c. Written an ESEX Commentary for Earth Surface Processes and Landformshttp; 
d. Considered the geomorphological case for proposed lower boundaries, type sites and possible alternative demarcations of the Anthropocene;
e. Considered the implications for geomorphology and the BSG of the adoption of the Anthropocene as a geological time interval of some type.

The Working Group is also planning a State of the Art Paper for Earth Surface Processes and Landforms and a stand-alone meeting to discuss and consider the role of geomorphology in the Anthropocene debate (planned for early 2014).

Can we urge more BSG members to answer the very short questionnaire. In addition, please do not hesitate to email any of the Working Group Committee if you wish to share your views

For further details about this working group, please see the “Background” statement.

The working group committee is co-ordinated by A G Brown and the members currently are; R. Aalto, J. Bullard, R. Chiverell, J. Rose , V. Thorndycraft, J. Wainright, D. Thomas, S. Tooth, P. Downs

Calling all Geomorphologists. Take part in the Anthropocene Debate, give your views in the BSG Anthropocene Survey.

Click here to take the short survey

Further information

Email: [email protected]