geomorphology


geomorphology
geomorphological /jee'euh mawr'pheuh loj"i keuhl/, geomorphologic, adj.geomorphologist, n.
/jee'euh mawr fol"euh jee/, n.
the study of the characteristics, origin, and development of landforms.
[1890-95; GEO- + MORPHOLOGY]

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Scientific discipline that describes and classifies the Earth's topographic features.

Many systems of classifying landforms have been devised. Some systems describe and group topographic features primarily according to the processes that shaped or modified them. Others take additional factors into consideration (e.g., character of the surface rocks and climatic variations) and include the developmental stage of landforms as an aspect of their evolution over geologic time.

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      scientific discipline concerned with the description and classification of the Earth's topographic features.

      A brief treatment of geomorphology follows. For full treatment, see geology: Geomorphology (geology).

      Much geomorphologic research has been devoted to the origin of landforms (continental landform). Such studies focus on the forces that mold and alter the primary relief elements of the terrestrial surface. These forces include tectonic activity and surficial earth movements (e.g., landslides and rockfalls). They also involve weathering and the erosion and deposition of the resulting rock debris by wind, glacial ice, and streams. In recent years, increasing attention has been given to the effects of human action on the physical environment as well.

      Many systems of classifying landforms have been devised since the late 19th century. Some systems describe and group topographic features primarily according to the processes that shaped or modified them. Others take additional factors into consideration (e.g., character of the surface rocks and climatic variations) and include the developmental stage of landforms as an aspect of their evolution over geologic time.

      Geomorphology is closely allied with a number of other scientific disciplines that are concerned with natural processes. Fluvial and coastal geomorphology rely heavily on fluid mechanics and sedimentology; studies of mass movement, weathering, wind action, and soils draw on the atmospheric sciences, soil physics, soil chemistry, and soil mechanics; research on certain landform types entails the principles and methods of geophysics and volcanology; and the study of human impact upon landforms relies on the disciplines of geography and human ecology.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Geomorphology — (from Greek: γη, ge , earth ; μορφή, morfé , form ; and λόγος, logos , knowledge ) is the study of landforms and the processes that shape them. Geomorphologists seek to understand why landscapes look the way they do: to understand landform… …   Wikipedia

  • geomorphology — 1893, from GEO (Cf. geo ) + MORPHOLOGY (Cf. morphology). Form geomorphy is from 1889. Related: Geomorphological; geomorphologically; geomorphologist …   Etymology dictionary

  • geomorphology — ► NOUN ▪ the study of the physical features of the surface of the earth and their relation to its geological structures. DERIVATIVES geomorphological adjective geomorphologist noun …   English terms dictionary

  • geomorphology — [jē΄əmôr fäl′ə jē] n. [ GEO + MORPHOLOGY] the science dealing with the nature and origin of the earth s topographic features geomorphologic [jē΄əmôr΄fə läj′ik] adj. geomorphological …   English World dictionary

  • geomorphology — noun (plural gies) Etymology: International Scientific Vocabulary Date: 1893 1. a science that deals with the relief features of the earth or of another celestial body (as the moon) and seeks a genetic interpretation of them 2. the features dealt …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • geomorphology — noun The study of landforms, their classification, origin, development, and history …   Wiktionary

  • GEOMORPHOLOGY —    The more recent changes in Etruria are relatively under studied. However, there have been investigations of the delta region of the Arno near Pisa, of the lagoons near Populonia, and of some of rivers in the Faliscan area in relationship to… …   Historical Dictionary of the Etruscans

  • geomorphology —   the science of understanding landform formation …   Geography glossary

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  • geomorphology —    The science that treats the general configuration of the earth s surface; specifically the study of the classification, description, nature, origin, and development of landforms and their relationships to underlying structures, and of the… …   Glossary of landform and geologic terms


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