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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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9 votes
4 answers
998 views

What do you call boulders of non sedimentary rock that were lithified into sandstone?

I'm convinced there is a word for this. I was in the Hoodoos at Writing on Stone this weekend and kept noticing what looked like reddish quartzite boulders laying around in the sand, or sometimes ...
2 votes
1 answer
76 views

Subantarctic islands: man-made rock cairn or natural formation?

When surveying penguin colonies on subantarctic Antipodes Island, we found a cave that features a strange rock formation: The formation does not appear to be particularly exposed to the elements so ...
2 votes
0 answers
33 views

Why is static modulus greater then dynamic modulus in limestone?

Generally dynamic modulus is greater then static modulus and experimental data matches that. But in chalcedonic limestone, the static modulus looks to be greater than the dynamic modulus. What could ...
16 votes
3 answers
1k views

What processes produced the basalt columns of the Giant's Causeway?

The Giant's Causeway is, according to the Wikipedia page was formed during during the Paleogene Period, Antrim was subject to intense volcanic activity, when highly fluid molten basalt intruded ...
3 votes
1 answer
77 views

Why would glaciers change its size? How to differenciate change in glacier size as a response to climate and its natural dynamics?

Glaciers flow as they deform under its own weight. But they also advance or retreat accordingly to the various climate factors. How would I differentiate a glacier that is in motion flowing down the ...
1 vote
0 answers
9 views

More about hypsometry for large glaciers

I am currently reading a paper which says The elevation ranges between 1700 and 2200 m show smaller relative surface changes than the elevation ranges between 2200 and 3300 m. This has to be related ...
2 votes
0 answers
24 views

Would it make sense to compare glacier fluctuations in New Zealand with Alps or Canadian rockies?

If I want to draw parallels between the glacier fluctuations between different glaciers, (considering similar size class, here, small) at a) New Zealand b) European Alps c) Canadian Rocky Mountains ...
1 vote
1 answer
73 views

Does granite and basalt behave differently in different atmospheric pressures?

We all know that the oxygen levels increase and decrease as well as the temperature, so I believe it's safe to assume atmospheric pressure changes as well... And since granite and basalt are formed ...
3 votes
1 answer
125 views

Obtaining ELA from AAR method

I am trying to understand how to obtain ELA using Accumulation area ratio method. My understanding is: Accumulation area/ ablation area is assumed to be constant. Empirical data of long term annual ...
1 vote
1 answer
55 views

Bright patterns in the Dry Andes

I am doing some preliminary research on aeolian/nival landforms in Andes and I came across this: located at -24.950948, -68.268528 and other locations throughout the Argentinian Dry Andes. Any idea ...
4 votes
2 answers
359 views

What are these features on Eldon Hill?

Eldon Hill is a limestone hill in Derbyshire, England. It has a large quarry on it's NW side and a natural pothole just to the south of it's peak. It also has the remains of lead mines scattered ...
2 votes
0 answers
38 views

Create my own timeline by collating data from different research

I'm researching various paleo-events (climate, geomorphology, etc) from different articles. I would in turn like to collate the findings into one comprehensive timeline. Example: I have articles ...
7 votes
1 answer
325 views

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 ...
5 votes
1 answer
130 views

Is it possible to infer the depth of a river from the shapes of the islands and the banks?

Look at the photo below. Presumably, the river bed is a smooth shape. Therefore, it should be possible to infer the depth of the water from the photo, right? I am not even an amateur of geo-science. ...
6 votes
2 answers
287 views

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 ...
6 votes
1 answer
110 views

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 ...
1 vote
1 answer
185 views

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 ...
27 votes
3 answers
10k 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 ...
6 votes
1 answer
181 views

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 ...
16 votes
2 answers
2k views

What are these lake-like blue patches in the desert, visible in satellite image?

I found some blue patches in the Arabian desert in Google Earth. It looks like as if they were lakes with sand dunes rising out of the water. But there isn't water in the desert, at least not this ...
4 votes
1 answer
507 views

What is the purpose of this large structure on a Japanese hillside? [closed]

A Google satellite view shows an unusual structure on a hillside in Miyazaki Prefecture, Japan (Latitude 31.782600°N, Longitude 131.233881°E): It measures about 170m by 120m and is structured in ...
7 votes
2 answers
998 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 ...
1 vote
0 answers
43 views

Volcanic Cones - Fissure Type [closed]

Can volcanic cones, similar to the one shown below form from fissure type of volcanoes?
5 votes
1 answer
37 views

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 ...
4 votes
1 answer
54 views

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 ...
16 votes
2 answers
339 views

How did this rock dome (pictured) form?

I saw this rock formation near Hveravellir, Iceland. It is probably of volcanic origin and looks like a dome. It is nearly symmetric and appears to consist of hardened lava maybe, with several very ...
1 vote
0 answers
31 views

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 ...
9 votes
3 answers
1k views

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 ...
8 votes
2 answers
756 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 ...
9 votes
1 answer
664 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 ...
11 votes
1 answer
2k views

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?
5 votes
4 answers
6k 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 ...
10 votes
1 answer
150 views

What is the age of the Gamburtsev Mountains?

The mechanism for the formation of the Gamburtsev Subglacial Mountains in East Antarctica seems to be a combination of old volcanism and Cretaceous rifting (Ferraccioli et al., 2011). While the ...
5 votes
0 answers
53 views

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 ...
10 votes
3 answers
15k views

Esker vs. Kame vs. Drumlin - what's the difference?

In researching glacial features, I came across the terms esker, drumlin, and kame. I know that they are all depositional features that are shaped like a mound. My impression is that an esker is longer ...
4 votes
1 answer
643 views

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 ...
12 votes
1 answer
1k views

What is this weird looking structure in Ethiopian desert?

I was surfing through Google Maps around Ethiopian desert region (close to the town of Werder/Wardheer) and I found this weird looking structure. It seems like a dried up lake bed, but I can't guess ...
1 vote
0 answers
347 views

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 ...
4 votes
2 answers
1k views

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 ...
2 votes
1 answer
60 views

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 ...
1 vote
1 answer
64 views

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 ...
8 votes
1 answer
12k 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 ...
14 votes
3 answers
2k views

Why is Mauna Kea taller than the maximum height possible on Earth?

We can calculate the maximum possible height of the mountain on earth. If the elastic limit of a typical rock is $3 \times 10^8\ \mathrm{N/m}$ and its mean density is $3 \times 10^3\ \mathrm{kg/m^3}$,...
3 votes
0 answers
60 views

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 ...
6 votes
2 answers
292 views

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"...
3 votes
1 answer
147 views

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 ...
2 votes
1 answer
160 views

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 ...
3 votes
3 answers
343 views

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 ...
2 votes
1 answer
477 views

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 ...
3 votes
1 answer
543 views

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,...