Just as the most comprehensive records of long-term geological history are to be found in depositional environments, so, in the study of recently operating geomorphic processes, the fullest record of their operation and of the changes in material flux that they have generated will often be found in the stratigraphy of lake sediments and peats. Peat and sediment studies have at least three major additional advantages. The record of material flux that they contain can often be directly related to evidence for changing vegetation and climate, preserved, for example, in the fossil remains of organisms indicative of past conditions. Thus, a more holistic picture of past environment may emerge, and the insights of the geomorphologist become both more valuable and more interpretable by virtue of the broader scientific context within which they can be set. Peats and sediments are also suitable for a wide range of dating techniques, some of which, especially those dependent on annual laminations, on measurements of the presence and decay of shortlived radioisotopes (137Cs, 210Pb, 241Am, 239Pu), or on the detection and calibration of a palaeomagnetic record, are especially suited to sediments.