Questions tagged [geomorphology]

The [geomorphology] tag concerns the landforms and exogenous processes of the surface of the Earth or other solid surface planets.

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Do lakes tend to have elliptical shapes more often than circular shapes?

I saw this interesting graphic (The World’s 25 Largest Lakes, Side by Side) of some of the largest lakes in the world. It strikes me as somewhat curious that most of the lakes have a high eccentricity ...
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How large is the chance that the Badlands Guardian emerged from natural processes?

The Badlands Guardian is a geomorphological feature; see this website. According to Wikipedia, this figure has been created by natural processes. However, my intuition says that the chance that this ...
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What makes sand dunes shaped asymmetrically?

I have been working on a simulation to approximate the formation process of dunes. I understand that their formation is a result of saltation and aeolian processes, but I don't understand the exact ...
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How does one get a steep-sided stratovolcano with extremely fluid, low-viscosity lava?

The shape of a volcano generally depends strongly on the viscosity of the molten rock used to make it: If the magma/lava ("magva"?) is relatively fluid, it flows out gently, and you get a ...
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Volcanic Cones - Fissure Type [closed]

Can volcanic cones, similar to the one shown below form from fissure type of volcanoes?
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5 votes
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I am searching for a word to describe the area of a glacial valley where the sides transition into the floor?

I have been tasked with proof reading before publication a Russian paper that has been translated into basic English and am searching for a word to describe the area of a glacial valley where the ...
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4 votes
1 answer
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Is initial stream formation in a drainage basin random?

It's known that stream orders are highly regular: Horton showed that stream order is related to number of streams, channel length, and drainage area by simple geometric relationships; that is, stream ...
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Mapping and calculating morphometric variables for Alluvial Fans in ArcMap?

I need to calculate various variables for Alluvial Fans in ArcMap such as Fan area, gradient, angle subtended by fan. The data I am using is SRTM 1 Arc-Second Global. I am attempting to map and ...
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8 votes
2 answers
295 views

Similarities and differences between lava flows and fluvial geomorphology (rivers)

How are active lava flows similar to fluvial geomorphology? You can search youtube for these dramatic videos of lava flows, and they all seem to look very similar to streams or rivers. I know that the ...
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9 votes
1 answer
645 views

Why does this shoreline change this way?

There are different reasons why a shoreline can change, including tides. But I've found a phenomenon that I can't explain. It happens in a Mediterranean beach called L'Esparrelló/La Caleta (link to ...
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Artifical Ore Genesis?

From my understanding, the formation of ores can be reduced to a simple three-step process of the removal of minerals from a source via some mechanism, the transportation of these minerals, and ...
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How to calculate mountain front sinuosity index using DEM?

In tectonic geomorphology the Mountain front sinuosity index is one of the morphometric indexes. Smf = Lmf/Ls I have a DEM, so how do I use it to find the value? According to this diagram do I have ...
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2 votes
1 answer
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Are Fluvial and River Terraces the same?

I study about fluvial terraces. However, resources related to this topic are limited. When I searched fluvial terraces in geomorphology books, I cannot find anything, but I find river terraces. My ...
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How are tall cays formed?

From reading about Cays on Wikipedia it seems they are formed from coral reefs covered with sand or gravel. There are however some cays scattered around the world which are hundreds of feet off of ...
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Is there a modelling of Wave Rock (Hyden Rock) formation?

I'm interested in the visualization of the formation process of "strange" objects like Wave Rock (flared slope). I've found articles describing hypotheses of the rock formation but I cannot ...
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Geomorphological feature identification

I was studying a satellite map of Iceland and came across an interesting, but unnamed feature located between Vatnajökull glacier and Trölladyngja volcano (between 64°50'35"N, 17°11'21"W and 64°48'33"...
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What sort of a plate is the Sunda plate?

I have read that the islands of Sumatra & Java have resulted from the subduction of oceanic crust of the Indo-Australian plate beneath the Sunda plate. I want to know whether this boundary is ...
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2 votes
1 answer
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Could Rumblings From Plutons be as Ominous as Rumblings From Volcanoes?

Mount Kinabalu in North Borneo is a 10 million year old pluton. A pluton is a magma plume from the mantle which was not able to reach the surface and erupt as a volcano, but solidified underground and ...
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3 votes
3 answers
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Formation of Iceland

Iceland sits atop a divergent ocean-ocean boundary. But there are not many islands which are formed along a divergent boundary. Why is it so? Why do not mid ocean ridges often rise above the sea ...
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11 votes
1 answer
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Origin of Andaman and Nicobar islands

Are Andaman and Nicobar islands in Indian ocean a continuation of Alpide-Himalayan orogeny or are they volcanic in origin?
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2 votes
1 answer
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How Could Sheep Graze these Steep Hillsides Without Leaving any Marks?

Here are two images of English hill figures (The Cerne Abbas giant and the Uffington white horse): These hillsides, which are obviously grazed by sheep, show tracks that form numerous contour lines ...
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3 votes
1 answer
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Gelifluction vs Solifluction

I'm currently studying cold environments, looking at periglacial processes. I've been looking into gelifluction and solifluction as processes of periglaciation. The two terms seem to be used, mostly,...
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4 votes
2 answers
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When was it ever considered that the desert might be "man-made", or otherwise anthropocenically-induced?

This answer pointed me to the Wikipedia page for Farouk El-Baz in which the desert research and theories subsection says: During the past 20 years in his research at Boston University, El-Baz has ...
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What is this geomorphological form?

What is this geomorphological form located at Vitrolles, France? And how is it formed? It is like a 'raised flat land', or a base of a hill where the top 80% is cut, leaving only the wide, flat base.
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4 votes
1 answer
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How to determine the orientation of coastline from NetCDF file

I have a NetCDF file (gridded data) with a landsea mask. I would like to determine, for the coastal grid-cells, what the orientation of the coastline is. I need to do this in order to calculate the ...
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1 answer
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Peninsula vs Cape [closed]

I know that Peninsula is much larger than a cape, but is there a definite way to differentiate them? I.e. by area- if the total area is larger than 30 sqkm, any headland is classified as peninsula..
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2 answers
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Sea cave vs Sea arch

How do you distinguish sea cave from sea arch? If I want to classify a crack of sea cliff as sea cave, has it to have a dead end? Would you call a geological formation as a sea cave even a kayak can ...
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9 votes
3 answers
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Is there a widely accepted reason for the formation of tafoni?

Expansion of tafoni seems to be based on weathering (seems reasonable enough.) But what creates them in the first place? There are a number of explanations online (Wikipedia lists eight plausible ...
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5 votes
1 answer
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Is sterescope still used to do cartography with orthophotography?

I used this tool at my degree a couple of lusters ago to do cartography with aerial orthophotos. We used it on cartography and geomorphology subjets. Source: gumtree.com The method consists ...
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3 votes
1 answer
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What determines the scale of columnar jointing?

What physical parameters determine the scale of columnar jointing? What makes the columns thinner or thicker? What makes them taller or shorter? What causes the variation in a given site? What ...
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2 answers
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What is the erosion rate of mountains?

How much height of a mountain or any topographic high, decreases for a million year averagely? What is the range? (min / max)
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1 vote
0 answers
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What causes these shapes in the coast of the Levant?

Along the coast of the Levant (maybe also in other places), there are some very distinct discontinuities such as these. It may be nothing at all, but they stood out to me. Now I was wondering if there ...
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2 votes
2 answers
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mountain database of elevation and distance from saddle (as a proxy for gradient)

I'm interested in doing data visualization projects about mountains. We have data from http://www.peaklist.org/ultras.html complied by Aaron Maizlish (Who we tried to contact but not sure of his ...
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3 votes
1 answer
304 views

What is the purpose of analyzing the bed-load of a river?

A group of students and I have gone to a field trip where we performed tasks like: measuring the velocity of the river flow, finding the width and depth to produce a cross section along with valley ...
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2 votes
1 answer
2k views

Topography & physiography

What is the difference between physiography & topography? I can't understand the context in which to use both. Please explain by giving suitable examples.
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5 votes
1 answer
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What is meant by Massif?

In India, Panchchuli, Kun Nun and Shilong only these mountain are claimed to be massif. Why other mountain formations are not termed as massif...? What are the characteristics of massif..? Anybody ...
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5 votes
4 answers
4k views

Why are the mountains predominately grey or dark brown?

Observing many photos of mountains one can assume that most of the mountains are grey or brown. See also the mountain article at Wikipedia. There are however several ways a mountain can form, which ...
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12 votes
2 answers
1k views

What causes these mound-like ground formations?

Whilst riding on Mam Tor in Castleton, England I came across this scene (not my photo) and I would like to know what causes the formations which I have ringed in red. They look like piles of earth ...
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27 votes
3 answers
9k views

Is there sand in Antarctica?

There's a song "Blizzard's Never Seen the Desert's Sand". Given Antarctica is a desert, someone questioned the title's validity. BUT is there sand in Antarctica? I'd imagine yes as it's a pretty ...
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4 votes
1 answer
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How are the Scala dei Turchi staircases formed?

The Scala dei Turchi i (Italian: "Stair of the Turks") is a rocky cliff on the coast of Realmonte in Italy: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scala_dei_Turchi#/media/File:Scala_dei_Turchi_panorama.jpg ...
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7 votes
1 answer
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How old are Chile's fjords?

Do we have any knowledge about the age of Chile's fjords, more specifically, those found near the Northern Patagonian Ice Field? Is it reasonable to conclude that they were formed in Quaternary given ...
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8 votes
1 answer
9k views

How did the Ural mountains form?

A nice picture for "how mountains formed" on Earth is due to the motion of tectonic plates. As the plates crash together, mountains may get "pushed upwards". However, a quick look at a map of the ...
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Subterranean Climate System?

Do subterranean habitat have climate system(s)? Could it be placed in any or all of the known ones: tropical, subtropical, temperate etc. ? Is it unique?
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6 votes
1 answer
3k views

What separates the Karakoram Range, the Hindu Kush, and the Himalayan Range?

In Google Maps, I don't see any boundary between the Karakoram (a.k.a. Karakorum) Range, the Hindu Kush, and the Himalayan Range. What separates these ranges?
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10 votes
3 answers
587 views

Natural spiral pattern of grass - what could cause this?

During a nature walk inside an old abandoned quarry I stumbled upon strange spirals that appear to be naturally formed. What could cause this spiral formation? Is it a known phenomena? To clarify , ...
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13 votes
1 answer
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How are giant sinkholes filled up?

There are a few impressive photographs of giant sinkholes that appeared in cities, such as this one: However, followup information (e.g. Guatemalan sinkhole) or photographs on how these kind of ...
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3 votes
0 answers
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What factors make Lake Turkana a great location for preserving fossils?

I am trying to figure out why Lake Turkana has yielded so many hominin fossils compared to other locations in the East African Rift Valley. One of the reasons is possibly the laying of sedimentary ...
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7 votes
2 answers
735 views

What produces these distinct shapes in the Rub' al Khali seen from space?

update: Searching "Rub' al Khali Empty Quarter" found "Q2: What are sabkhas?" in https://www.geocaching.com/geocache/GC6BYQ0_rub-al-khali-the-empty-quarter which seems to be ...
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12 votes
1 answer
639 views

What causes these circular swirls of islands?

I was following the boarder of the US and Canada on Google Maps, because, and found these interesting circular patterns of islands near the Northwest Angle. I have heard of geologic folding but I have ...
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5 votes
1 answer
112 views

The grains of the parabolic dunes

My text book says that parabolic dunes consist of consolidated limestone grains, but I wondered if they have sand grains too, so I googled this issue and found that they consist of sands, but I am ...
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