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Scientific discipline that describes and classifies the Earth's topographic features. Many systems of classifying landforms have been devised. Some systems describe and group topographic features primarily according to the processes that shaped or modified them. Others take additional factors into consideration (e.g., character of the surface rocks and climatic variations) and include the developmental stage of landforms as an aspect of their evolution over geologic time.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on geomorphology, visit Britannica.com.