The Problem of Erosion Surfaces, Cycles of Erosion and Climatic Geomorphology

  • Herbert Louis
Part of the The Geographical Readings Series book series (GR)


W. M. Davis (1899), with his extension of G. K. Gilbert’s notion of the geographical cycle and its end product the peneplain, has given the study of landforms a fascinating and stimulating basic idea. It is true that objections have been raised, particularly in Germany, against Davis’s views. A. Hettner (1921) and S. Passarge (1912), in particular, have pointed out several uncertainties in Davis’s deduction and stress the necessity for a more thorough examination of climatic influence on the exogenic processes and the vagueness of young, mature and old as a terminology to describe characteristics of landforms. Both A. Penck (1919) and W. Penck (1924) have examined the possibility of the simultaneous interaction of crustal movements and exogenic processes, something which was not sufficiently explored in Davis’s work. The difference between Endrumpf and Primärrumpf the idea that flat as well as gently sloping and steep landforms could be the expression of a balance between uplift and depression, and the subsequent view that, with the passage of time, not only a succession of steep, gentle and flat forms is possible, but also any desired succession of these, was a result which went far beyond the framework of Davis.


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© Macmillan Publishers Limited 1973

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  • Herbert Louis

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