A landform or physical feature in the earth sciences and geology sub-fields, comprises a geomorphological unit, and is largely defined by its surface form and location in the landscape, as part of the terrain, and as such, is typically an element of topography...
s and the processes that shape them. Geomorphologists seek to understand why landscape
Landscape comprises the visible features of an area of land, including the physical elements of landforms such as mountains, hills, water bodies such as rivers, lakes, ponds and the sea, living elements of land cover including indigenous vegetation, human elements including different forms of...
s look the way they do, to understand landform history and dynamics, and to predict future changes through a combination of field observations, physical experiments, and numerical modeling
Landscape evolution model
A landscape evolution model is a physically based numerical model that simulates changing terrain over the course of time. This can be due to glacial erosion and deposition; erosion, sediment transport, and deposition in fluvial systems such as rivers; regolith production; the movement of material...
. Geomorphology is practiced within geography
Geography is the science that studies the lands, features, inhabitants, and phenomena of Earth. A literal translation would be "to describe or write about the Earth". The first person to use the word "geography" was Eratosthenes...
Geology is the science comprising the study of solid Earth, the rocks of which it is composed, and the processes by which it evolves. Geology gives insight into the history of the Earth, as it provides the primary evidence for plate tectonics, the evolutionary history of life, and past climates...
Geodesy , also named geodetics, a branch of earth sciences, is the scientific discipline that deals with the measurement and representation of the Earth, including its gravitational field, in a three-dimensional time-varying space. Geodesists also study geodynamical phenomena such as crustal...
, engineering geology
Engineering geology is the application of the geologic sciences to engineering practice for the purpose of assuring that the geologic factors affecting the location, design, construction, operation and maintenance of engineering works are recognized and adequately provided for...
Archaeology, or archeology , is the study of human society, primarily through the recovery and analysis of the material culture and environmental data that they have left behind, which includes artifacts, architecture, biofacts and cultural landscapes...
, and geotechnical engineering
Geotechnical engineering is the branch of civil engineering concerned with the engineering behavior of earth materials. Geotechnical engineering is important in civil engineering, but is also used by military, mining, petroleum, or any other engineering concerned with construction on or in the ground...
, and this broad base of interest contributes to a wide variety of research styles and interests within the field.
The surface of Earth
Earth is the third planet from the Sun, and the densest and fifth-largest of the eight planets in the Solar System. It is also the largest of the Solar System's four terrestrial planets...
is modified by a combination of surface processes that sculpt landscapes, and geologic processes that cause tectonic uplift
Tectonic uplift is a geological process most often caused by plate tectonics which increases elevation. The opposite of uplift is subsidence, which results in a decrease in elevation. Uplift may be orogenic or isostatic.-Orogenic uplift:...
Subsidence is the motion of a surface as it shifts downward relative to a datum such as sea-level. The opposite of subsidence is uplift, which results in an increase in elevation...