Earth's Landscape
An Encyclopedia of the World's Geographic Features [2 volumes]
by Joyce A. Quinn and Susan L. Woodward
February 2015, 877pp, 8 1/2x11
2 volumes, ABC-CLIO

Hardcover: 978-1-61069-445-2
$237, £183, 207€, A325
Please contact your preferred distributor for pricing.
eBook Available: 978-1-61069-446-9
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Why do the Alps include pieces of Africa, deep-sea sediment, and limestone reefs?

This unusual encyclopedia brings together in-depth information on more than 450 natural geographic features from around the world and offers an array of creative tools to promote critical thinking and classroom discussion.

With Earth undergoing rapid environmental change, students and the general public alike should be knowledgeable about the world’s geographic features. This authoritative, two-volume reference enables readers do just that. It describes continents and oceans; individual mountains, islands, caves, and rivers; and ecological entities such as wildlife refuges and national parks. Each entry provides a geographic overview of the feature’s significance, location, description, geologic history, biota, protected areas, and environmental issues. But the coverage goes even deeper so that entries also discuss the cultural importance of each natural place, covering everything from indigenous beliefs to traditional folklore to contemporary legends.

The encyclopedia stands apart from other works not only in the depth of its coverage but also in its range. It discusses lesser known as well as prominent geographical features and offers critical thinking aids that will help students see how the natural world relates to their daily lives. Teaching and learning tools include an appendix called “Opposing Viewpoints” that allows students to understand landforms involved in current conflicts and disputes as well as an “Activities/Discussion Questions” appendix.


  • Provides a one-stop reference for students of geography and environmental and earth sciences
  • Offers global coverage of diverse features, whether terrestrial, aquatic, geological, ecological, or physiographic
  • Includes an overview of the various kinds of landforms of the world, how they are formed, and how they continue to change over time
  • Explains each feature's origins and significance, as well as major environmental issues in which it's involved
  • Indicates the importance of features to the development of Western science and contemporary scientific thought in fields such as evolutionary biology, paleontology, plate tectonics, and climate change
  • Features a "Top 10s Appendix" to provoke student interest through statistics such as the tallest mountains, largest lakes, and longest rivers
Joyce A. Quinn, PhD, is professor emerita of geography at California State University, Fresno. Her published works include ABC-CLIO's Arctic and Alpine Biomes, Desert Biomes, and Encyclopedia of Invasive Species, the latter with coauthor Susan L. Woodward. Quinn holds a doctorate from Arizona State University.

Susan L. Woodward, PhD, is professor emerita in the Department of Geospatial Science, Radford University, Radford, VA. Her published works include ABC-CLIO's Introduction to Biomes, Encyclopedia of Invasive Species, Grassland Biomes, and Marine Biomes; as well as Indian Mounds of the Middle Ohio Valley: A Guide to Mounds and Earthworks of the Adena, Hopewell, Cole, and Fort Ancient People. She holds a doctorate in geography from the University of California, Los Angeles.


"This resource would be particularly useful for high school and undergraduate students enrolled in geography and geology courses. Summing Up: Recommended. Undergraduates; students in GIS technical programs; high school students and general readers."—Choice, February 3, 2016

"I believe this work would be a great purchase for the geology collections of high school and undergraduate libraries."—ARBAonline, February 11, 2016

"There is much in this encyclopedia that is impressive not least the wealth of geographical and geological detail it gathers together and presents, seemingly with accuracy and authority. . . . . Overall, Earth’s Landscape: An Encyclopedia of the World’s Geographic Features is an admirable work."—Reference Reviews, April 28, 2016

"Overall these volumes are an intriguing collection of facts and data and the alphabetical listings make it an easy-to-use reference. Aimed at high school and undergraduate students, these volumes will be valuable to those seeking to learn more about a specific geographic topic. The appendixes will be useful to, and most appreciated by, classroom instructors."—School Library Journal, May 2, 2016

"This two-volume set is like an encounter with The New York Times on a Sunday: unexpectedly big, full of interest, and of remarkable quality. . . . These two volumes are a geographer’s dream. This set will make clear the value of an atlas and the importance of observation to anyone who thought GIS work answered all questions."—International Journal of Environmental Studies, July 31, 2017
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