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Geomorphology Land relief

Geomorphology Land relief


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Geomorphology is a branch of geology or earth sciences. It is dedicated to study the forms of land relief. It is closely linked to other Earth sciences, such as climatology, glaciology or hydrography. Geomorphological studies take into account the processes responsible for transforming the surface. These geomorphic processes are divided into four groups: exogenous, endogenous, living organisms and extraterrestrial processes.

Exogenous processes are those related to atmospheric or weather changes. They can be degrading or pleasing. Degradation, such as wind or ice, destroys the relief through the weathering of rocks, soil erosion or earthworks. These agents accumulate sediments that form new reliefs, resulting in turn pleasing agents.

Endogenous processes depend on the internal forces experienced by the earth's crust. These forces are responsible for raising or sinking regions on the continents. They also fracture and fold rocks, in addition to throwing large volumes of magma to the surface.

The role of living organisms is definitive in changes in land relief. This is the case of plants, which protect the soil from degradation. Other living things, such as ants, remove large tons of soil. But man is the living organism that produces the greatest changes in the land relief. Agriculture, mining or city building require the displacement of thousands of tons of rock to cause artificial reliefs.

Finally, extraterrestrial processes are those produced by the impact of meteorites, comets or asteroids. As they are unusual, their importance is relative in geomorphology.

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Album: Photos of the Earth and the Moon Gallery: The land relief