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Lecture

INTRODUCTION TO GEOMORPHOLOGY.docx

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Department
Geography
Course
GEOG 2110L
Professor
David Stanley
Semester
Spring

Description
INTRODUCTION TO GEOMORPHOLOGY Definition: The science of landforms; their origin, evolution, form, and spatial distribution * The development and changes on the earth’s surface over time. Basic Terms: Landform: individual element of a landscape EX: a mountain, a river, a hill, etc. Topography: Earth's ridges, valley's & other surface features; the change in elevation over the Earth’s surface Uniformitarianism: the theory that geologic events (and others) are caused by natural processes, many of which are operating at the present time * and that the processes we see today operate in the same way today as they did in the past EX: the way a volcano operates today is the same as it did 1000 yrs ago, or 1million years ago, or 1 billion years ago ** Types of Landforms: Tectonic: developed by therearrangement of the Earth’s crust, driven by internal energy Fluvial: those developed by moving liquid water Glacial: those developed by glacial ice(solid water) Coastal: those developed by waves Eolian: those developed by wind ** Landforms and systems change, but tend to be in some form of an equilibrium state, when viewed over geologic time. Steady-state: little change, with inputs and outputs equal Dynamic Equilibrium: fluctuates around an average value, but demonstrates a trend over time Geomorphic Processes: relationship between external and internal processes and forces * Internal Processes: those processes which occur or originate within Earth’s crust; volcanism, diastrophism (mountain building), plate tectonics (massive crustal rearrangements) * External Processes: those processes which occur on the Earth’s surface; weathering & erosion by fluvial, glacial, eolian, & coastal EARTH'S INTERNAL STRUCTURE Characteristics: * arranged in concentric layers * heavier elements towards the center * each layer distinct in chemical composition or temperature * result of cooling since formation of the earth, some 4.6 billion years before present(BYBP) ** How do we know? --- only by indirect evidence; Seismic waves * by analyzing the behavior of seismic waves; their speed and direction * waves change with changes in the Tº and density of material **cooler=higher velocity; hotter=slower velocity ** density may reflect or refract the waves ** 3 types of seismic waves: P waves: push or compressio
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