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14 Cards in this Set

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  • Back
landform:
recognizable feature on Earth's
surface with characteristic shape, produced
by natural processes
landscape:
distinct association of landforms
operated on by natural processes
Geomorphology
scientific study of Earth surface
landforms & processes
interpretation of pattern & process
over various spatial & temporal
scales
applications of geomorphology
Reconstructing past climate & environments
Modelling modern processes & responses
Resource exploration & management… e.g.?
Land use planning & development… e.g.?
Simulating future scenarios… e.g.?
theories of Earth surface evolution
1. Catastrophism
‘creationism’, 18th century
2. Uniformitarianism
‘gradualism’, 19th century
3. Plate tectonics & continental drift
A. Wegener, 1915
4. Cycle of erosion
W.M. Davis, 1909
5. Earth surface systems
1960s – present
Catastrophism
‘creationism’, 18th century
Earth created & shaped by catastrophic
events & remains unchanged otherwise
‘Great Flood’, volcanic eruptions, meteor impacts
extinctions in fossil record (Cuvier)
The Bible: created in 6 days, 6000 yrs old
Uniformitarianism
idea that laws of nature remain same through time &
change is gradual

present-day processes explain past Earth
surface evolution(*this is a key idea in geomorphology!):
- Hutton (1785): endless rock cycle, gradualism
- Playfair (1800): rivers carve their valleys
- Lyell (1830): Principles of Uniformity

countered Creationism… heresy!
How can the cycle of erosion date the Earth?
What are the stages that landscapes evolve by?
- (Davis 1909)
- driven by uplift, degraded by fluvial action
1. <bold>youthful </bold>(high energy, steep slopes) to…
2. mature (max. relief) to…
3. old (low energy ‘peneplain’)
Difference between open and closed systems? examples?
An open system exchanges energy and/or matter w/ surroundings

open syst - most geol systems; river, glacial, closed syst - cooling lava, Earth itself! (mostly)
What are 'process-response' systems? examples?
-processes of M & E exchange produce morphological responses

-weathering, water/ice flow, sediment transport, mass movement
entropy
tendancy to move to lower energy state
Geomorphic work from 2 kinds of energy?
1. Potential (position)
2. Kinetic (movement)
What factors control landform dynamics?
1. climate
2. relief & tectonics
3. lithology
4. time
5. human action
Earth's sufaces systems: open or closed?
open - exchange between different 'spheres' (litho, hydro, bio)