Professor James Terry received his PhD in Physical Geography in 1992 from the University of Wales at Swansea in the UK. Most of his career has been spent in the Asia–Pacific region. Previous academic positions include at the University of Exeter in the UK, the University of the South Pacific in Fiji (where he served as Head of the School of Geography) and the National University of Singapore. He has also spent visiting periods at the Government Department of Agriculture in Perth (Australia), Sydney University (Australia), Kagoshima University (Japan), and the University of Guelph (Canada). Currently, he is based at Zayed University, a progressive women’s university in Dubai, UAE.
As a field‐based geomorphologist, James has over three decades of research experience in coastal & fluvial geomorphology (especially in tropical and mediterranean environments); natural hazards & extreme events; hydrology & water resources; slope processes & soil erosion. He has particular interests in island physical environments. As befits his physical geography background, James’ publication record embraces a wide range of geoscience sub‐disciplines, spanning across geomorphology, climatology, hydrology and soils. Authored and co‐edited books include Tropical Cyclones: Climatology and Impacts in the South Pacific (2007: Springer) and Natural Hazards in the Asia–Pacific Region (2012: Geol. Soc. London). Recent responsibilities have included Treasurer and founding Section President of Interdisciplinary Geosciences for the Asia Oceania Geosciences Society (AOGS) (2012‐14), member of the founding Editorial Board of Geoscience Letters (Springer), and Chair of the Steering Group on Natural Hazards & Disaster Risk (SGNHDR) for the International Council of Science (ICSU–ROAP) (2013 to present).
Often wild, sometimes weird, and paradoxically not always connected to the weather, “weathering” is the collective term given by geomorphologists to a suite of environmental processes that contributes to the in situ denudation of the earth’s surface. This lecture presents a brief introduction to weathering. What is meant by weathering is first clarified in the context of other major groups of denudation processes – mass movements and erosion. The lecture then outlines the main weathering mechanisms that prevail across different climatic regimes, and demonstrates some of the resulting landscape effects at both local and regional scales. Tropical and temperate examples are given from numerous geographical locations for illustration. It is seen that the consequences of weathering may be spectacular, awe‐inspiring, rather mystifying, or even involve natural hazards. But whatever the impressions given, an understanding of the basic concepts will provide an appreciation of the origin of many familiar features observed all around us in our physical environment.