Environmental Geology: geology and the human environment provides a comprehensive introduction to the subject of environmental geology - the interaction of humans with the geological environment. As a subject, environmental geology has grown in popularity with the rise of interest in environmental issues. Despite this, environmental geology is not a new subject but a meld of three related earth science disciplines: economic geology, engineering geology and applied geomorphology, each of which has been given a new focus through the need for greater environmental management. This book is the first of its kind to recognise that the true challenge of environmental geology does not lie in rural areas or in the green issues, but in the urban environment and its resource hinterland. By the year 2000, over 3.5 billion people, over 50 per cent of the world's population, will live in urban areas covering just 1 per cent of the earth's surface. It is here that human interaction with the geological environment is at its most intense: it is here that the practical challenges in environmental geology lie.
Urban growth fuels the demand for mineral and water resources, tests our skills as engineering geologists, produces vast volumes of waste which must be managed, and increases human vulnerability to natural hazards. All of these topics are covered within this book. Environmental geology is a practical subject, and environmental geologists have a crucial role in managing our interaction with the geological environment. This textbook demonstrates how environmental geologists can make a practical contribution to managing this interaction allowing both sustained development and environmental conservation.