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Chapter 1- What is Geomorphology - Essay Example

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The three key rudiments of geomorphology include; land form, geomorphic process, and land-surface history. Two corresponding main brands of geo-morphology comprise process geomorphology and historical geomorphology. The other…
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Chapter 1- What is Geomorphology
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Download file to see previous pages “The word geomorphology is a composition of three Greek words; ‘geo’ means earth, ‘morph’ means form and ‘-ology’ means discourse” (Hugget, 2011). So the study of earth forms is called geomorphology. Some people only include the forms of earth’s surface while others also include surfaces of other planets such as Moon, Venus etc. “There are three components of geomorphology; constitution (the chemical composition of the surface), mass flow (the rate of flow of the material; rate of evaporation) and configuration (the shape and size; geometry of the surface)” (Hugget, 2011).
Ancient Greek philosophers wondered about mountains and plains, and how they took up the shape they appear in. Greats like Aristotle and Seneca have long pondered how valleys and rivers came about, and how come sea shells end up at the beaches, and how come deltas of the earth are “as they appear to be” (Hugget, 2011).
Landforms leave a history behind them. Ripples on a beach or a river that stopped flowing, all have history but many might pass by unnoticed because of leaving no footprint (stratigraphic record). This way it becomes easier to study landforms, data collection regarding this also becomes easier.
In the past, geomorphologists used to map morphological forms based on the principle of “the present is the key to the past” (Hugget, 2011). This made it the perfect assumption that the present form of the landscape has evolved from the past and correctly tracing back would lead to the past form of earth morphology.
William Morris Davis, the morphologist who expounded on the term ‘geographical cycle’. To describe Morris’s theory on Geomorphology in small number of words; the uplift takes place quickly, while landscapes slopes decline through time. The surface, like humans and other living beings has stages of life; youth, maturity and old age.
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