Characteristic Landscape And Landforms Of Dartmoor

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‘Discuss the role of both endogenic and exogenic factors in producing the characteristic landscape and landforms of Dartmoor.’

Dartmoor is a vast moorland located in Devon which spans 954km2. It is recognised as a Special Site of Scientific Interest (SSSI) as well as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. It was declared a National Park in 1952 and receives 2.4 million visitors annually. The processes which carved this amazing landscape of steep valleys and granite “Tors” have been at work for millions of years, and happen via a mixture of exogenic and endogenic forces; exogenic forces are the ones which happen on the surface of the earth, while endogenic forces are ones caused from inside the earth.

Exogenic processes in Dartmoor

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The meander in the lower course of River Dart is likely to soon become an ox-box lake as the necks seem to be edging towards one another. This is mainly because the water wants to take the path of least resistance and having a straight channel which would be the most ideal way for the river to achieve this. If we were to further our investigation and come back after a prolonged period, we would see this river feature would occur.

Erosion, deposition and transportation are three exogenic factors which contribute in shaping Dartmoor. These three factors are also geomorphic processes which change the morphology of the area, in this case, Dartmoor. The three main geomorphic processes that operate to form river features on the River Dart are:
Deposition – The process where material transported by a river is deposited due to low energy levels. This could be when a river reaches a shallow area or towards its
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It takes place inside the below the Earth’s surface and are started by the forces of the Earth. Earthquakes and volcanic activities are examples of Endogenic processes.

Endogenic forces have heavily influenced the granite of Dartmoor. Granite is a type of igneous rock consisting of Quartz, Mica and Feldspar. As the granite cools after being forced up to the earth’s surface by thermal energy, hydrothermal forces caused veins of minerals to form through the granite, such as Zinc and little amounts of gold.

Dartmoor has a very high relief due to the endogenic forces causing the formation of the hills as a result of movement of the tectonic plates below. This means that Princetown - a town in Dartmoor- has an annual rainfall of 1975.5mm, in comparison to Teignmouth (a town on the south Devon coast) has a yearly rainfall of 840mm. This proves how the endogenic forces have had a direct effect on the appearance of Dartmoor. The impermeable granite also has led to high rates of surface run-off which in turn has caused an increased risk of flooding with a £4.6m flood defence project being launched in 2013 in Dartmoor to protect the few properties at

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