2. That branch of geology that studies the characteristics, processes that shape them, and configurations and evolutions of rocks and land forms.
Geomorphologists seek to understand landform history and dynamics, and predict future changes through a combination of field observations, physical experiments, and numerical modeling.
The discipline is practiced within geology, geography, archaeology, and civil and environmental engineering. Early studies in geomorphology are the foundations for pedology, one of two main branches of soil science.
Geomorphology is the science of landforms. It is the science that provides us with a closer look at the earth's surface and the processes that have formed them.
Although geomorphology is concerned with landforms that currently exist, past landforms and events must be examined in order to fully understand how they came about.
Although the term geomorphology is a relatively new term (1880's), the examination of the forces of nature that have impacted the earth's surface extends back into the days of early Greek and Roman philosophers; such as, Aristotle and Seneca.
Their writings included ideas on stream erosion, earthquakes, and other deformations. Though these early philosophers speculated on the ideas of landscape evolution, these processes and thoughts were not fully examined until just before the 1800's.
Geomorphology is closely related to physiography, which covers much of the same subject matter, but includes oceanography and climatology, the study of the earth's climate and oceans.