//Entries by François Durand-Dastes

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In geographical literature, the notion of determinism is used in a rather particular way, which generates such ambiguities that the problems they raise should be mentioned in the first place. The term “determinism ” is indeed often used in order to designate what may be called a “mechanist determinism by natural factors”. In its extreme […]

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Environments and Development Costs

Fearing to attribute too much importance to the mechanistic and simplistic determinism of the physical environment, improperly linked with ‘determinism’, some geographers avoid using such expressions as ‘difficult environments’ or ‘unattractive (off-putting) environments’. Through this categorical attitude, we may be failing to note the introduction of an important factor of spatial differentiation. The use of […]



In the strict sense, the tropics refer to two latitudes 23°27′ north and south, defined in relation to a fairly stable cosmic factor, that is the inclination of the polar axis in relation to the ecliptic plane. Their names are derived from the signs of the zodiac (tropic of Cancer for the northern hemisphere, tropic […]

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Water balance

Water balance is assessed for a given place and a given period of time by comparing water inputs and outputs in that place and during that period. The assessment also takes into account the existing supply of stocks and future appropriation of these stocks. Water inputs are brought by precipitation. Outputs are from the combination […]