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Gilbert, Grove Karl (1843–1918)

  • By: Colin Edward Thorn
  • In: Encyclopedia of Geography
  • Edited by: Barney Warf
  • Subject:General Geography, Earth & Environmental Science

Time and space represent perhaps the two most fundamental inputs to the explanation of landscape development and differentiation. In traditional qualitative models, time is the preeminent variable. However, if the landscape and/or its constitutive elements reflect some sort of instantaneous balance between the forces acting on it, or them, and surface resistance, then we are offered a fundamentally different starting point from which to examine their development. Geomorphological models dominated by a temporal perspective have been largely biological in tone; however, Grove Karl Gilbert, a contemporary of William Morris Davis, viewed landscapes from the perspective of physics and engineering. The great contrast between the two approaches is that a Davisian approach results in a time-dependent model of development, while that of Gilbert favors time-independent modeling. ...

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