Hillslopes as Evidence of Climatic Change

  • Karl-Heinz Schmidt

Geomorphic systems disclose great differences in their sensitivity to climatic change, and the various relief units carry the imprints of past processes to dissimilar degrees. Fluvial systems are highly susceptible to climatically induced changes in process. Hillslopes, on the other hand, are generally regarded as being rather resistant to such changes. In addition to the sensitivity of relief units to climatic change, another point of crucial geomorphic interest is how long the legacies of past processes are preserved in the form elements. Unfortunately, sensitivity to change and the length of time of preservation of past changes are usually inversely correlated. This means that we have either a detailed record of short-term changes for a limited period of time or a relatively inaccurate record of only major changes for a longer timespan. Where a detailed sedimentary record of past climatic changes has survived, related landform records may not be complete, because climatic changes are generally more frequent than landform changes.


Colorado Plateau Altitudinal Belt Past Process Talus Cone Debris Slope 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Karl-Heinz Schmidt
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of GeoscienceUniversität Halle06120 HalleGermany

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