• Summary
  • Contents
  • Subject index

Geomorphology is the study of the Earth's diverse physical land surface features and the dynamic processes that shape these features. Examining natural and anthropogenic processes, The SAGE Handbook of Geomorphology is a comprehensive exposition of the fundamentals of geomorphology that examines form, process, and history in the discipline. Organized into four sections, the Handbook is an overview of foundations and relevance, including the nature and scope of geomorphology, the origins and development of geomorphology, the role and character of theory in geomorphology, the significance of models and abstractions to geomorphology; techniques and approaches, including geomorphological mapping, field observations and experimental design, remote sensing in geomorphology, quantifying rates of erosion, measuring fluid flows and sediment fluxes, dating surfaces and sediment, GIS in geomorphology, and modelling landforms and processes; process and environment, including rock weathering, the evolution of regolith, hill slopes, riverine environments, glacial environments, periglacial environments, coastal environments, desert environments, karst landscapes, environmental change and anthropogenic activity; and environmental change, including geomorphology and environmental management, geomorphology and society, and planetary geomorphology.

Process and Form
Process and form

Landforms, the subject matter of geomorphology, are physical features of earth's surface. They are omnipresent, plain to see and occur at a variety of geographical scales, ranging from mima mounds to mountains to major tectonic plates; and they have ‘lifespans’ lasting from days to millennia to aeons.

Process, form and the inter-relationships between them are basic to understanding the origin and development of landforms. It is perhaps worth briefly considering what form and process are, as most geomorphologists use the terms without defining them. In geomorphology, form or morphology has three facets: (1) constitution (chemical and physical properties), (2) configuration (size, shape and other geometric properties) and (3) mass–flow characteristics (e.g. discharge, precipitation rate and evaporation rate) (Strahler, 1980). These form ...

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