A recent revolution in the study of nonlinear dynamical systems in the physical sciences has shown the worth of regarding systems as dissipative. The nature of dissipative systems in equations, bifurcations, and fluctuations. Some speculations are then made concerning the implications of dissipative system theory for geomorphology. It is suggested that geomorphological systems containing bifurcations will have both deterministic (universal and necessary) and probabilistic (historical happenstance) elements; they will have more than one solution (configuration) and this fact calls into question notions of process domains leading to the development of characteristic forms; they will possess varying degrees of susceptibility to change induced by fluctuations; and they will respond differently to local, regional, and global fluctuations.
Earth Surface Processes and Landforms – Wiley
Published: Feb 1, 1988