A landscape is the cumulative product of interaction among dynamic geological processes over time. A region's topography and suite of characteristic landforms are, thus, clues to its geologic history. For example, the landscape of rugged, linear mountain chains , deep canyons, dry lake beds, and mesas in the United States'desert southwest tells a geologic story of fluvial and Eolian erosion acting during a period of increasing climatic aridity while plate tectonic forces caused crustal extension and uplift. Earth processes carve a landscape; dynamic interactions between processes control its evolution over time.
The earth's internal heat drives plate tectonic motion and influences the related processes of crustal uplift, magmatic intrusion, volcanism, crustal deformation, and seismic activity. External heat from the Sun forces circulation of Earth's atmosphere and hydrosphere, which in turn drives sedimentary processes such as weathering, erosion, transportation, and deposition. These forces, interacting under the influence of gravity , shape Earth's surface.
Earth processes interact in complex feedback systems. A change in the rate or directional alignment of one process—for example, an increase in rainfall or the abandonment of a river channel—may start a cascade of compensatory changes throughout a region. Plate-tectonic mountain-building and erosion interact in a negative feedback system that regulates the elevation of continental mountain belts. Elevation interacts with temperature and rainfall, the components of climate , to regulate rates of erosion. Climate interacts with vegetation to create soils. A balance between precipitation and temperature maintains a glacier. These are just a few examples of the dynamic processes that shape a regional landscape, and of the interactions that remold an existing array of landforms over time.
See also Eolian processes; Weathering and weathering series
"Landscape Evolution." World of Earth Science. . Encyclopedia.com. (December 13, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/science/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/landscape-evolution
"Landscape Evolution." World of Earth Science. . Retrieved December 13, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/science/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/landscape-evolution
Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).
Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.
Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:
Modern Language Association
The Chicago Manual of Style
American Psychological Association
- Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
- In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.