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Penck, Walther (1888–1923)

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

Walther Penck was the son of the famous German Quaternary scientist and geomorphologist Albrecht Penck. Albrecht had both a professional and a personal relationship with William Morris Davis that eventually became acrimonious. Walther Penck's claim to fame as a geomorpholo-gist rests on the posthumous publication by his father, in 1924, of his book Die morphologische Analyse (Morphological Analysis). Written in highly convoluted German, it received very little attention in Germany but became a central and contentious topic within the English-speaking world of geomorphology due to what some perceived as a self-serving interpretation by Davis. This article remained the authoritative English source of Penck's ideas until Hella Czech and Katharine Cumming Boswell published an English translation of the work 40 years later.

The idea in Penck's work ...

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