Geomorphology

geomorphologicalgeomorphologistgeomorphicmorphologygeomorphologicallygeomorphologicgeomorphologistsmorphologicalmorphologicallyHistory of geomorphology
Geomorphology (from Ancient Greek: γῆ, gê, "earth"; μορφή, morphḗ, "form"; and λόγος, lógos, "study") is the scientific study of the origin and evolution of topographic and bathymetric features created by physical, chemical or biological processes operating at or near the Earth's surface.wikipedia
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Coastal geography

coastal geomorphologyCoastalcoastal lakes
Earth's surface is modified by a combination of surface processes that shape landscapes, and geologic processes that cause tectonic uplift and subsidence, and shape the coastal geography.
Coastal geography is the study of the constantly changing region between the ocean and the land, incorporating both the physical geography (i.e. coastal geomorphology, geology and oceanography) and the human geography (sociology and history) of the coast.

Landscape

landscapesopen spacelandscaping
Geomorphologists seek to understand why landscapes look the way they do, to understand landform history and dynamics and to predict changes through a combination of field observations, physical experiments and numerical modeling.
Geomorphology is the scientific study of the origin and evolution of topographic and bathymetric features created by physical or chemical processes operating at or near Earth's surface.

Erosion

erodedglacial erosioneroding
Geologic processes include the uplift of mountain ranges, the growth of volcanoes, isostatic changes in land surface elevation (sometimes in response to surface processes), and the formation of deep sedimentary basins where the surface of the Earth drops and is filled with material eroded from other parts of the landscape. Glacial geomorphologists investigate glacial deposits such as moraines, eskers, and proglacial lakes, as well as glacial erosional features, to build chronologies of both small glaciers and large ice sheets and understand their motions and effects upon the landscape.
Natural rates of erosion are controlled by the action of geological weathering geomorphic drivers, such as rainfall; bedrock wear in rivers; coastal erosion by the sea and waves; glacial plucking, abrasion, and scour; areal flooding; wind abrasion; groundwater processes; and mass movement processes in steep landscapes like landslides and debris flows.

Orography

orographicorographicallyorographic precipitation
Topography can modify the local climate, for example through orographic precipitation, which in turn modifies the topography by changing the hydrologic regime in which it evolves.
Orography (also known as oreography, orology or oreology) falls within the broader discipline of geomorphology.

Erosion and tectonics

depth of isostatic compensationinduces an isostatic compensationisostatically increased uplift
Many geomorphologists are particularly interested in the potential for feedbacks between climate and tectonics, mediated by geomorphic processes.
The interaction of these processes can form, modify, or destroy geomorphic features on the Earth's surface.

Mass wasting

mass movementmass-wastingrotational slip
Indications of effects of wind, fluvial, glacial, mass wasting, meteor impact, tectonics and volcanic processes are studied. Following the early work of Grove Karl Gilbert around the turn of the 20th century, a group of mainly American natural scientists, geologists and hydraulic engineers including William Walden Rubey, Ralph Alger Bagnold, Hans Albert Einstein, Frank Ahnert, John Hack, Luna Leopold, A. Shields, Thomas Maddock, Arthur Strahler, Stanley Schumm, and Ronald Shreve began to research the form of landscape elements such as rivers and hillslopes by taking systematic, direct, quantitative measurements of aspects of them and investigating the scaling of these measurements.
Mass wasting, also known as slope movement or mass movement, is the geomorphic process by which soil, sand, regolith, and rock move downslope typically as a solid, continuous or discontinuous mass, largely under the force of gravity, frequently with characteristics of a flow as in debris flows and mudflows.

Lidar

laser altimeterLight Detection and Ranging3D laser scanning
Terrain measurement techniques are vital to quantitatively describe the form of the Earth's surface, and include differential GPS, remotely sensed digital terrain models and laser scanning, to quantify, study, and to generate illustrations and maps.
Lidar is commonly used to make high-resolution maps, with applications in geodesy, geomatics, archaeology, geography, geology, geomorphology, seismology, forestry, atmospheric physics, laser guidance, airborne laser swath mapping (ALSM), and laser altimetry.

Hydrology

hydrologicalhydrologisthydrologic
The Earth's surface and its topography therefore are an intersection of climatic, hydrologic, and biologic action with geologic processes, or alternatively stated, the intersection of the Earth's lithosphere with its hydrosphere, atmosphere, and biosphere.

Moraine

morainesmorainicglacial moraine
Glacial geomorphologists investigate glacial deposits such as moraines, eskers, and proglacial lakes, as well as glacial erosional features, to build chronologies of both small glaciers and large ice sheets and understand their motions and effects upon the landscape.
A moraine is any glacially formed accumulation of unconsolidated glacial debris (regolith and rock) that occurs in both currently and formerly glaciated regions on Earth (i.e. a past glacial maximum), through geomorphological processes.

Stream restoration

restorationRiver reclamationimprove water quality
Practical applications of geomorphology include hazard assessment (such as landslide prediction and mitigation), river control and stream restoration, and coastal protection.
Stream restoration approaches can be divided into two broad categories: form-based restoration, which relies on physical interventions in the stream to improve its conditions; and process-based restoration, which advocates the restoration of hydrological and geomorphological processes (such as sediment transport or connectivity between the channel and the floodplain) to ensure the stream's resilience and ecological health.

Sediment transport

transporttransportedtransport sediment
Fluvial geomorphologists focus on rivers, how they transport sediment, migrate across the landscape, cut into bedrock, respond to environmental and tectonic changes, and interact with humans.
Sediment transport is important in the fields of sedimentary geology, geomorphology, civil engineering and environmental engineering (see applications, below).

Hill

hillsbluffbluffs
Other geomorphologists study how hillslopes form and change.
Hills may form through geomorphic phenomena: faulting, erosion of larger landforms such as mountains, and movement and deposition of sediment by glaciers (e.g. moraines and drumlins or by erosion exposing solid rock which then weathers down into a hill.) The rounded peaks of hills results from the diffusive movement of soil and regolith covering the hill, a process known as downhill creep.

Terrestrial analogue sites

Earth analoguesMars analogue sitesMine Analogue Research
Planetary geomorphologists often use Earth analogues to aid in their study of surfaces of other planets.
This classification is possible based on various criteria such as geomorphology, geochemistry, exobiology or exploration conditions.

Earth science

Earth Sciencesgeosciencesgeoscience
Other than some notable exceptions in antiquity, geomorphology is a relatively young science, growing along with interest in other aspects of the earth sciences in the mid-19th century.

Shen Kuo

Shen KuaKuo, ShenShen Gua
Another early theory of geomorphology was devised by the polymath Chinese scientist and statesman Shen Kuo (1031–1095).
Shen Kuo devised a geological hypothesis for land formation (geomorphology), based upon findings of inland marine fossils, knowledge of soil erosion, and the deposition of silt.

William Morris Davis

DavisianW. M. DavisW. M. Davis’
An early popular geomorphic model was the geographical cycle or cycle of erosion model of broad-scale landscape evolution developed by William Morris Davis between 1884 and 1899.
William Morris Davis (February 12, 1850 – February 5, 1934) was an American geographer, geologist, geomorphologist, and meteorologist, often called the "father of American geography".

Walther Penck

In the 1920s, Walther Penck developed an alternative model to Davis's.
Walther Penck (30 August 1888 – 29 September 1923) was a geologist and geomorphologist known for his theories on landscape evolution.

Periglaciation

periglacialperiglacial processesperiglacial geomorphology
In the early 19th century, authors – especially in Europe – had tended to attribute the form of landscapes to local climate, and in particular to the specific effects of glaciation and periglacial processes.
Periglaciation (adjective: "periglacial", also referring to places at the edges of glacial areas) describes geomorphic processes that result from seasonal thawing of snow in areas of permafrost, the runoff from which refreezes in ice wedges and other structures.

Physiographic regions of the world

physiographic sectionphysiographic provincephysiographic region
Some geomorphologists held to a geological basis for physiography and emphasized a concept of physiographic regions while a conflicting trend among geographers was to equate physiography with "pure morphology", separated from its geological heritage.
During the early 1900s, the study of regional-scale geomorphology was termed "physiography".

Luna Leopold

Luna B. LeopoldLuna
Following the early work of Grove Karl Gilbert around the turn of the 20th century, a group of mainly American natural scientists, geologists and hydraulic engineers including William Walden Rubey, Ralph Alger Bagnold, Hans Albert Einstein, Frank Ahnert, John Hack, Luna Leopold, A. Shields, Thomas Maddock, Arthur Strahler, Stanley Schumm, and Ronald Shreve began to research the form of landscape elements such as rivers and hillslopes by taking systematic, direct, quantitative measurements of aspects of them and investigating the scaling of these measurements.
Luna Bergere Leopold (October 8, 1915 – February 23, 2006) was a leading U.S. geomorphologist and hydrologist, and son of Aldo Leopold.

Soil erosion

erosionErodedsoil erosion by water
He inferred that the land was reshaped and formed by soil erosion of the mountains and by deposition of silt, after observing strange natural erosions of the Taihang Mountains and the Yandang Mountain near Wenzhou.
Wind erosion is a major geomorphological force, especially in arid and semi-arid regions.

Landslide

landslideslandslipdebris avalanche
Practical applications of geomorphology include hazard assessment (such as landslide prediction and mitigation), river control and stream restoration, and coastal protection.
The factors that have been used for landslide hazard analysis can usually be grouped into geomorphology, geology, land use/land cover, and hydrogeology.

Geomorphometry

geomorphometricgeomorphometrics
Quantitative geomorphology can involve fluid dynamics and solid mechanics, geomorphometry, laboratory studies, field measurements, theoretical work, and full landscape evolution modeling.
Common synonyms for geomorphometry are geomorphological analysis, terrain morphometry or terrain analysis and land surface analysis.

Digital elevation model

digital terrain modelDEMdigital elevation map
Terrain measurement techniques are vital to quantitatively describe the form of the Earth's surface, and include differential GPS, remotely sensed digital terrain models and laser scanning, to quantify, study, and to generate illustrations and maps.

Landscape evolution model

landscape evolutionnumerical modelingmodels of landscape evolution
Geomorphologists seek to understand why landscapes look the way they do, to understand landform history and dynamics and to predict changes through a combination of field observations, physical experiments and numerical modeling. Quantitative geomorphology can involve fluid dynamics and solid mechanics, geomorphometry, laboratory studies, field measurements, theoretical work, and full landscape evolution modeling.
Landscape evolution models are used primarily in the field of geomorphology.