Landforms

Different types of rock give different and distinctive types of landform. For instance, limestones on weathering produce ”karst topography”. The landscape produced by the processes of weathering and erosion is closely related to climate and rock types.

  1. The angle of the surface slope is controlled directly by the strength of the rock. Hard rocks like limestones and sandstones stand out as convex curves in contrast to the concave curves formed on soft rocks like clay or shale.
  2. In the humid climate, the profile of the ground surface consists of smooth curves which change from concave to convex through points of inflection. However, in arid climates, the ground profile is usually much sharper. There are angular intersections between different slope angles.

Stages of Landforms Development:

The whole period of the history of landmass can be described in terms of ”youth”, maturity”, and ”old stage”.

  1. Youthful Landscape: A youthful landscape is one in which the agents of erosion have been acting for a relatively short period on a recently uplifted landmass. This type of landscape has a wide flat surface dissected by rivers, which have narrow valleys with steep sides. Here the erosion is chiefly downward.
  2. Mature Stage: In ”mature landscape” the river valleys become wide and they meet adjacent ones. As a result, only small parts of the original flat uplifted land area are left.
  3. Old Stage: In the ”old stage” the landscape becomes almost flat with isolated hills standing up above a plain, which is almost at sea level. Such a plain is called the ”peneplain”. In the old stage, the erosive power of rivers is greatly reduced and their gradient becomes low. After the old stage, the land mass would either sink below sea or is uplifted again and the above cycle is repeated.

Types of landforms

We can classify the landforms on two bases: (i) types of landform on the basis of process, and (ii) landforms on the basis of shape.

Landforms by process

(1). Aeolian landforms: Landforms which come into being by the action of winds, like dry lake, sandhill, ventifact, and yardang etc.

  • Dry lake: Basin or depression that formerly contained a standing surface water body
  • Sandhill: Type of ecological community or xeric wildfire-maintained ecosystem
  • Ventifact: Rock that has been eroded by wind-driven sand or ice crystals
  • Yardang: Streamlined aeolian landform

 

(2). Coastal and Oceanic Landforms: The landforms which are produced by the action of the sea and oceanic water. The landforms of coastal regions and seafloor are included in this type of landforms.

  • Abyssal fan: Underwater geological structures associated with large-scale sediment deposition
  • Abyssal plain: Flat area on the deep ocean floor
  • Archipelago: Collection of islands
  • Atoll: Ring-shaped coral reef
  • Arch: Natural rock formation where a rock arch forms
  • Ayre: Shingle beaches in Orkney and Shetland
  • Barrier bar:
  • Barrier island: Coastal dune landform that forms by wave and tidal action parallel to the mainland coast
  • Bay: Recessed, coastal body of water connected to an ocean or lake
  • Baymouth bar: Depositional feature as a result of longshore drift, a sandbank that partially or completely closes access to a bay
  • Beach: Area of loose particles at the edge of the sea or other body of water
  • Raised beach: Beach or wave-cut platform raised above the shoreline by a relative fall in the sea level
  • Beach cusps: Shoreline formations made up of various grades of sediment in an arc pattern
  • Beach ridge: Wave-swept or wave-deposited ridge running parallel to a shoreline
  • Bight: Shallowly concave bend or curve in a coastline, river, or other geographical feature
  • Blowhole: Hole at the top of a sea-cave which allows waves to force water or spray out of the hole
  • Channel: Type of landform in which part of a body of water is confined to a relatively narrow but long region
  • Cape: Large headland extending into a body of water, usually the sea
  • Calanque: Narrow, steep-walled inlet on the Mediterranean coast
  • Cliff: Vertical, or near vertical, rock face of substantial height
  • Coast: Area where land meets the sea or ocean
  • Continental shelf: Coastal and oceanic landform
  • Coral reef: Outcrop of rock in the sea formed by the growth and deposit of stony coral skeletons
  • Cove: Small sheltered bay or coastal inlet
  • Cuspate foreland: Geographical features found on coastlines and lakeshores that are created primarily by longshore drift
  • Dune system: Hill of loose sand built by aeolian processes or the flow of water
  • Estuary: Partially enclosed coastal body of brackish water with river stream flow, and with a free connection to the sea
  • Firth: Scottish word used for various coastal inlets and straits
  • Fjard: Glacially formed, broad, shallow inlet
  • Fjord: Long, narrow inlet with steep sides or cliffs, created by glacial activity
  • Geo: Inlet, a gully or a narrow and deep cleft in the face of a cliff
  • Gulf: Large inlet from the ocean into the landmass
  • Headland: Landform extending into a body of water, often with significant height and drop
  • Inlet: Hollow of a shoreline that often leads to an enclosed body of salt water, such as a sound, bay, lagoon, or marsh
  • Island: Any piece of sub-continental land that is surrounded by water
  • Islet: Very small island
  • Isthmus: Narrow strip of land connecting two larger land areas
  • Lagoon: Shallow body of water separated from a larger body of water by a narrow landform
  • Machair: Fertile low-lying grassy plain
  • Marine terrace:
  • Mid-ocean ridge: Basaltic underwater mountain system formed by plate tectonic spreading
  • Oceanic basin: Large geologic basins that are below sea level
  • Oceanic plateau: Relatively flat submarine region that rises well above the level of the ambient seabed
  • Oceanic ridge: An underwater mountain system formed by plate tectonic spreading
  • Oceanic trench: Long and narrow depressions of the sea floor
  • Peninsula: Geographical feature
  • Ria: A coastal inlet formed by the partial submergence of an unglaciated river valley
  • River delta: Silt deposition landform at the mouth of a river
  • Salt marsh:  Coastal ecosystem between land and open saltwater that is regularly flooded
  • Sea cave: Cave formed by the wave action of the sea and located along present or former coastlines
  • Seamount: A mountain rising from the ocean seafloor that does not reach to the water’s surface
  • Seamount chains: Seamount is an undersea mountain range
  • Shoal: Natural submerged sandbank that rises from a body of water to near the surface
  • Shore: The fringe of land at the edge of a large body of water
  • Sound: A long, relatively wide body of water, connecting two larger bodies of water
  • Spit: Coastal bar or beach landform deposited by longshore drift
  • Strait: Naturally formed, narrow, typically navigable waterway that connects two larger bodies of water
  • Strandflat: Landform typical of the Norwegian coast consisting of a flattish erosion surface on the coast and near-coast seabed
  • Stack: geological landform consisting of a steep and often vertical column or columns of rock, and stump
  • Submarine canyon: Steep-sided valley cut into the seabed of the continental slope
  • Surge channel: Narrow inlet, usually on a rocky shoreline, and is formed by differential erosion of those rocks by coastal wave action
  • Tessellated pavement: Relatively flat rock surface that is subdivided into more or less regular shapes by fractures
  • Tidal marsh: Marsh subject to tidal change in water
  • Tide pool: Rocky pool on a seashore, separated from the sea at low tide, filled with seawater
  • Tombolo: Deposition landform in which an island is connected to the mainland by a sandy isthmus
  • Volcanic arc: Chain of volcanoes formed above a subducting plate
  • Wave-cut platform: Narrow flat area often found at the base of a sea cliff or along the shoreline of a lake, bay, or sea that was created by erosion

 

(3). Cryogenic Landforms: A landform produced as a result of extremely low temperature.

  • Cryoplanation terrace: Formation of plains, terraces and pediments in periglacial environments
  • Earth hummocks:
  • Lithalsa: Frost-induced raised land form in permafrost areas
  • Nivation hollow: Geomorphic processes associated with snow patches
  • Palsa: A low, often oval, frost heave occurring in polar and subpolar climates
  • Permafrost plateau: A low, often oval, frost heave occurring in polar and subpolar climates
  • Pingo: Mound of earth-covered ice
  • Rock glacier: Landform of angular rock debris frozen in interstitial ice, former “true” glaciers overlain by a layer of talus, or something in between
  • Solifluction lobes and sheets:
  • Thermokarst: Irregular land surface of marshy hollows and small hummocks formed as permafrost thaws

(4). Erosional Landforms: An erosional landform is that which comes into existence by erosion, weathering and denudation.

  • Arête: A narrow ridge of rock which separates two valleys
  • Badlands: Type of dry terrain where softer sedimentary rocks and clay-rich soils have been extensively eroded
  • Bornhardt: A large dome-shaped, steep-sided, bald rock
  • Butte: Isolated hill with steep, often vertical sides and a small, relatively flat top
  • Canyon: Deep ravine between cliffs
  • Cave: Natural underground space large enough for a human to enter
  • Cirque: An amphitheatre-like valley formed by glacial erosion
  • Cliff: Vertical, or near vertical, rock face of substantial height
  • Cryoplanation terrace: Formation of plains, terraces and pediments in periglacial environments
  • Cuesta: Hill or ridge with a gentle slope on one side and a steep slope on the other
  • Dissected plateau: Plateau area that has been severely eroded so that the relief is sharp
  • Erg: A broad, flat area of desert covered with wind-swept sand
  • Etchplain: Plain where the bedrock has been subject to considerable subsurface weathering
  • Exhumed river channel: Ridge of sandstone that remains when the softer flood plain mudstone is eroded away
  • Fjord: Long, narrow inlet with steep sides or cliffs, created by glacial activity
  • Flared slope: Rock-wall with a smooth transition into a concavity at the foot zone
  • Flatiron: Steeply sloping triangular landform created by the differential erosion of a steeply dipping, erosion-resistant layer of rock overlying softer strata
  • Gulch: Deep V-shaped valley formed by erosion
  • Gully: Landform created by running water and/or mass movement eroding sharply into soil
  • Hogback: Long, narrow ridge
  • Hoodoo: Tall, thin spire of relatively soft rock usually topped by harder rock
  • Homoclinal ridge: Ridge with a moderate sloping backslope and steeper frontslope
  • Inselberg: also known as Monadnock – Isolated rock hill or small mountain that rises abruptly from a relatively flat surrounding plain
  • Inverted relief: Landscape features that have reversed their elevation relative to other features
  • Lavaka: Type of gully, formed via groundwater sapping
  • Limestone pavement: Natural karst landform consisting of a flat, incised surface of exposed limestone
  • Mesa: Elevated area of land with a flat top and sides that are usually steep cliffs
  • Mushroom rock: Naturally occurring rock whose shape resembles a mushroom
  • Natural arch: Natural rock formation where a rock arch forms
  • Paleoplain: A buried erosion plain; a particularly large and flat erosion surface
  • Pediment: Very gently sloping inclined bedrock surface
  • Pediplain: Extensive plain formed by the coalescence of pediments
  • Peneplain: Low-relief plain formed by protracted erosion
  • Planation surface: Large-scale surface that is almost flat
  • Potrero: Long mesa that at one end slopes upward to higher terrain
  • Ridge: Chain of mountains or hills that form a continuous elevated crest for some distance
  • Rôche moutonnée:
  • List of rock formations: Links to Wikipedia articles about notable rock outcrops
  • Strike ridge: Ridge with a moderate sloping backslope and steeper frontslope
  • Structural bench: long, relatively narrow land bounded by distinctly steeper slopes above and below
  • Structural terrace: A step-like landform
  • Tepui: Table-top mountain or mesa in the Guiana Highlands of South America
  • Tessellated pavement: Relatively flat rock surface that is subdivided into more or less regular shapes by fractures
  • Truncated spur: Ridge that descends towards a valley floor or coastline that is cut short
  • Tor: Large, free-standing rock outcrop that rises abruptly from the surrounding smooth and gentle slopes of a rounded hill summit or ridge crest
  • Valley: Low area between hills, often with a river running through it
  • Wave-cut platform: Narrow flat area often found at the base of a sea cliff or along the shoreline of a lake, bay, or sea that was created by erosion

(5). Fluvial Landform: Fuvial landforms come into existence as a result of flow of river, stream, and other water channels.

  • Ait: Islands found on the River Thames and its tributaries in England
  • Alluvial fan: Fan- or cone-shaped deposit of sediment crossed and built up by streams
  • Anabranch: A section of a river or stream that diverts from the main channel and rejoins it downstream.
  • Arroyo: Dry creek or stream bed with flow after rain
  • Asymmetric valley: Valley that has steeper slopes on one side
  • Backswamp: Environment on a floodplain where deposits settle after a flood
  • Bar: Natural submerged sandbank that rises from a body of water to near the surface
  • Bayou: French term for a body of water typically found in flat, low-lying area
  • Bench: long, relatively narrow land bounded by distinctly steeper slopes above and below
  • Braided channel: Network of river channels separated by small, and often temporary, islands
  • Canyon: Deep ravine between cliffs
  • Cave: Natural underground space large enough for a human to enter
  • Cliff: Vertical, or near vertical, rock face of substantial height
  • Cut bank:  Outside bank of a water channel, which is continually undergoing erosion
  • Crevasse splay: Sediment deposited on a floodplain by a stream which breaks its levees
  • Confluence: Meeting of two or more bodies of flowing water
  • Drainage basin: Area of land where precipitation collects and drains off into a common outlet
  • Drainage divide: Elevated terrain that separates neighbouring drainage basins
  • Endorheic basin: Closed drainage basin that allows no outflow
  • Entrenched meander:
  • Epigenetic valley: Valley created by erosion and with little or no sympathy for bedrock structure
  • Esker: Long, winding ridge of stratified sand and gravel associated with former glaciers
  • Exhumed river channel: Ridge of sandstone that remains when the softer flood plain mudstone is eroded away
  • Floodplain: Land adjacent to a river which is flooded during periods of high discharge
  • Fluvial island: Exposed land within a river.
  • Fluvial terrace: Elongated terraces that flank the sides of floodplains and river valleys
  • Gorge: Deep ravine between cliffs

(6). Impact Landform:

Landforms created by extraterrestrial impacts, the collision of two astronomical objects with measurable effects, falling of shooting star, the passage of a traveling star by the earth, etc. Such a landform include:

  • Central peak:
  • Complex crater – large impact crater morphology with uplifted centres
  • Cratered landscape:
  • Ejecta blanket:
  • Impact crater: Circular depression on a solid astronomical body formed by a hypervelocity impact of a smaller object
  • Impact crater lake:
  • Simple crater:

(7). Karst Landform: 

Karst landform is created as a result of dissolution of rocks, especially limestone. When rocks partially dissolve in the liquids, a cavern system develops. The cavern system is known as ”karst topography”.

  • Abîme: Geographical term referring to vertical shaft in caves
  • Calanque: Narrow, steep-walled inlet on the Mediterranean coast
  • Cave: Natural underground space large enough for a human to enter
  • Cenote: Natural pit or sinkhole that exposes groundwater underneath
  • Foiba: Type of deep natural sinkhole
  • Karst fenster:
  • Mogote: Steep-sided residual hill of limestone, marble, or dolomite on a flat plain
  • Polje: Type of large flat plain found in karstic geological regions
  • Scowle: Landscape features which range from amorphous shallow pits to irregular labyrinthine hollows up to several metres deep
  • Sinkhole: Depression or hole in the ground caused by collapse of the surface into an existing void space
  • Turlough: Type of disappearing lake found in limestone areas of Ireland
  • Uvala: Local toponym in some regions in Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro and Serbia for a closed karst depression

(8). Lucastrine Landforms:

Lucastrine Landforms come into existence as a result of action of the lakes.

  • Beach:Area of loose particles at the edge of the sea or other body of water
  • Raised beach: Beach or wave-cut platform raised above the shoreline by a relative fall in the sea level
  • Carolina bay:
  • Dry lake: Basin or depression that formerly contained a standing surface water body
  • Endorheic basin: Closed drainage basin that allows no outflow
  • Lacustrine plain: Lakes filled by sediment
  • Lacustrine terraces: A step-like landform
  • Lake: Large body of relatively still water
  • Oasis: A fertile area in a desert or semi-desert environment
  • Oxbow lake: part of meanders
  • Parallel Roads of Glen Roy: Nature reserve in the Highlands of Scotland with ancient shoreline terraces
  • Pond: Relatively small body of standing water
  • Proglacial lake: Lake formed either by the damming action of a moraine during the retreat of a melting glacier, a glacial ice dam, or by meltwater trapped against an ice sheet
  • Salt pan: Salt span also known as salt flat is a flat expanse of ground covered with salt and other minerals

(9). Mountain and Glacial Landforms:

Landform of mountainous areas, which is affected by the action of glaciers, and their movement.

  • Arête: A narrow ridge of rock which separates two valleys formed by glacial movement
  • Cirque: An amphitheatre-like valley formed by glacial erosion
  • Col: Lowest point on a mountain ridge between two peaks
  • Crevasse: A deep crack, or fracture, in an ice sheet or glacier
  • Corrie: An amphitheatre-like valley formed by glacial erosion or cwm
  • Cove (mountain): Small valley in the Appalachian Mountains between two ridge lines
  • Dirt cone: Depositional glacial feature of ice or snow with an insulating layer of dirt
  • Drumlin: Geological feature formed by glacial ice acting on underlying unconsolidated till or ground moraine and drumlin field
  • Esker: Long, winding ridge of stratified sand and gravel associated with former glaciers
  • Fjord: Long, narrow inlet with steep sides or cliffs, created by glacial activity
  • Fluvial terrace: Elongated terraces that flank the sides of floodplains and river valleys
  • Flyggberg: Isolated rock hill or small mountain that rises abruptly from a relatively flat surrounding plain
  • Glacier: Persistent body of ice that is moving under its own weight
  • Glacier cave: Cave formed within the ice of a glacier
  • Glacier foreland: The region between the current leading edge of the glacier and the moraines of latest maximum
  • Hanging valley: A tributary valley that meets the main valley above the valley floor
  • Hill: Landform that extends above the surrounding terrain
  • Inselberg: It is also known as monadnock – Isolated rock hill or small mountain that rises abruptly from a relatively flat surrounding plain
  • Kame: Mound formed on a retreating glacier and deposited on land
  • Kame delta: Landform formed by a stream of melt water flowing through or around a glacier and depositing sediments in a proglacial lake
  • Kettle: Depression/hole in an outwash plain formed by retreating glaciers or draining floodwaters
  • Moraine: Glacially formed accumulation of unconsolidated debris
    • Rogen moraine: also known as Ribbed moraines – Landform of ridges deposited by a glacier or ice sheet transverse to ice flow
  • Moulin: Shaft within a glacier or ice sheet which water enters from the surface
  • Mountain: Large landform that rises fairly steeply above the surrounding land over a limited area
  • Mountain pass: Route through a mountain range or over a ridge
  • Mountain range: Geographic area containing several geologically related mountains
  • Nunatak: Exposed, often rocky element of a ridge, mountain, or peak not covered with ice or snow within an ice field or glacier
  • Proglacial lake: Lake formed either by the damming action of a moraine during the retreat of a melting glacier, a glacial ice dam, or by meltwater trapped against an ice sheet
  • Pyramidal peak: It is also known as Glacial horn. It is an Angular, sharply pointed mountainous peak
  • Outwash fan: Fan-shaped body of sediments deposited by braided streams from a melting glacier
  • Outwash plain: Plain formed from glacier sediment that was transported by meltwater.
  • Rift valley: Linear lowland created by a tectonic rift or fault
  • Rôche moutonnée:
  • Sandur: Plain formed from glacier sediment that was transported by meltwater.
  • Side valley: Valley with a tributary to a larger river
  • Summit: Point on a surface with a higher elevation than all immediately adjacent points
  • Trim line: Clear line on the side of a valley marking the most recent highest extent of the glacier
  • Truncated spur: Ridge that descends towards a valley floor or coastline that is cut short
  • Tunnel valley: Glacial-formed geographic feature
  • Valley: Low area between hills, often with a river running through it
  • U-shaped valley: Valleys formed by glacial scouring

(10). Slope Landforms:

Landforms associated with the action due to sloppy and inclined topography. It includes;

  • Bluff: Vertical, or near vertical, rock face of substantial height
  • Butte: Isolated hill with steep, often vertical sides and a small, relatively flat top
  • Canyon: Deep ravine between cliffs
  • Cliff: Vertical, or near vertical, rock face of substantial height
  • Col: Lowest point on a mountain ridge between two peaks
  • Cuesta: Hill or ridge with a gentle slope on one side and a steep slope on the other
  • Dale: Low area between hills, often with a river running through it
  • Defile: Narrow pass or gorge between mountains or hills
  • Dell: Small secluded hollow
  • Doab: Doab is also known as Interfluve – Land between two converging, or confluent, rivers
  • Draw:
  • Escarpment:  It is also known as scarp – Steep slope or cliff separating two relatively level regions
  • Flat (landform): Relatively level surface of land within a region of greater relief
  • Glen: Name for valley commonly used in Ireland, Scotland and the Isle of Man
  • Gully: Landform created by running water and/or mass movement eroding sharply into soil
  • Hill: Landform that extends above the surrounding terrain
  • Hillock: Hillock is also known as Knoll – Small hill
  • Mesa: Elevated area of land with a flat top and sides that are usually steep cliffs
  • Mountain pass: Route through a mountain range or over a ridge
  • Plain: Expanse of land which is mostly flat and treeless
  • Plateau: An area of a highland, usually of relatively flat terrain
  • Ravine: Small valley, which is often the product of streamcutting erosion
  • Ridge: Chain of mountains or hills that form a continuous elevated crest for some distance
  • Rock shelter: A shallow cave-like opening at the base of a bluff or cliff
  • Saddle:
  • Scree: Broken rock fragments at the base of steep rock faces, that has accumulated through periodic rockfall
  • Solifluction lobes and sheets
  • Strath: Large valley
  • Summit: Point on a surface with a higher elevation than all immediately adjacent points
  • Terrace: A step-like landform
  • Terracette: Ridge on a hillside formed when saturated soil particles expand, then contract as they dry, causing them to move slowly downhill
  • Vale:
  • Valley: Low area between hills, often with a river running through it
  • Valley shoulder:

(11). Tectonic Landforms:

Landforms created by the action of tectonic activities. Tectonic landforms include:

  • Asymmetric valley: Valley that has steeper slopes on one side
  • Dome: geological deformated structure
  • Faceted spur: Ridge that descends towards a valley floor or coastline that is cut short
  • Fault scarp: Small step or offset on the ground surface where one side of a fault has moved vertically with respect to the other
  • Graben: Depressed block of planetary crust bordered by parallel faults
  • Horst: Raised fault block bounded by normal faults
  • Mid-ocean ridge: Basaltic underwater mountain system formed by plate tectonic spreading
  • Mud volcano: Landform created by the eruption of mud or slurries, water and gases
  • Oceanic trench: Long and narrow depressions of the sea floor
  • Pull-apart basin: Structural basin where two overlapping faults or a fault bend creates an area of crustal extension which causes the basin to subside
  • Rift valley: Linear lowland created by a tectonic rift or fault
  • Sand boil: Cone of sand formed by the ejection of sand onto a surface from a central point by water under pressure

(12). Volcanic Landforms: 

Landforms coming into existence as a result of volcanic activities.

  • Caldera: Cauldron-like volcanic feature formed by the emptying of a magma chamber
  • Cinder cone: Steep conical hill of loose pyroclastic fragments around a volcanic vent
  • Complex volcano: Landform of more than one related volcanic centre
  • Cryptodome: Roughly circular protrusion from slowly extruded viscous volcanic lava
  • Cryovolcano: Type of volcano that erupts volatiles such as water, ammonia or methane, instead of molten rock
  • Diatreme: Volcanic pipe formed by a gaseous explosion
  • Dike: A sheet of rock that is formed in a fracture of a pre-existing rock body
  • Fissure vent: Linear volcanic vent through which lava erupts
  • Geyser: Hot spring characterized by intermittent discharge of water ejected turbulently and accompanied by steam
  • Guyot: Isolated, flat-topped underwater volcano mountain
  • Hornito: Conical structures built up by lava ejected through an opening in the crust of a lava flow
  • Kīpuka: Area of land surrounded by one or more younger lava flows
  • Lava: Molten rock expelled by a volcano during an eruption
  • Lava dome: Roughly circular protrusion from slowly extruded viscous volcanic lava
  • Lava coulee: Roughly circular protrusion from slowly extruded viscous volcanic lava
  • Lava field: also known as lava plain
  • Lava lake: Molten lava contained in a volcanic crater
  • Lava spine: Vertically growing monolith of viscous lava that is slowly forced from a volcanic vent, such as those growing on a lava dome
  • Lava tube: Natural conduit through which lava flows beneath the solid surface
  • Maar: Low-relief volcanic crater
  • Malpais: Rough and barren landscape of relict and largely uneroded lava fields
  • Mamelon: Rock formation created by eruption of relatively thick or stiff lava through a narrow vent
  • Mid-ocean ridge: Basaltic underwater mountain system formed by plate tectonic spreading
  • Pit crater: Depression formed by a sinking or collapse of the surface lying above a void or empty chamber
  • Pyroclastic shield: Shield volcano formed mostly of pyroclastic and highly explosive eruptions
  • Resurgent dome: Dome formed by swelling or rising of a caldera floor due to movement in the magma chamber beneath it
  • Rootless cone: A rootless cone, also known as pseudocrater is a volcanic landform, which resembles a true volcanic crater, but differs in that it is not an actual vent from which lava has erupted
  • Seamount: A mountain rising from the ocean seafloor that does not reach to the water’s surface
  • Shield volcano: Low profile volcano usually formed almost entirely of fluid lava flows
  • Stratovolcano: Type of conical volcano composed of layers of lava and tephra
  • Somma volcano: Volcanic caldera that has been partially filled by a new central cone
  • Spatter cone: Landform of ejecta from a volcanic vent piled up in a conical shape
  • Volcanic crater lake: Lake formed within a volcanic crater
  • Subglacial mound: Volcano formed when lava erupts beneath a thick glacier or ice sheet
  • Submarine volcano: Underwater vents or fissures in the Earth’s surface from which magma can erupt
  • Supervolcano: Volcano that has erupted 1000 cubic km in a single eruption
  • Tuff cone: Landform of ejecta from a volcanic vent piled up in a conical shape
  • Tuya: Flat-topped, steep-sided volcano formed when lava erupts through a thick glacier or ice sheet
  • Volcanic vent: A narrow pipe-like structure by which the lava extrudes.
  • Volcanic cone: Landform of ejecta from a volcanic vent piled up in a conical shape
  • Volcanic crater: Roughly circular depression in the ground caused by volcanic activity
  • Volcanic dam: Natural dam produced directly or indirectly by volcanism
  • Volcanic field: Area of Earth’s crust prone to localized volcanic activity
  • Volcanic group: Collection of related volcanoes or volcanic landforms
  • Volcanic island: Island of volcanic origin
  • Volcanic plateau: Plateau produced by volcanic activity
  • Volcanic plug: Volcanic object created when magma hardens within a vent on an active volcano
  • Volcano: Rupture in the crust of a planet that allows lava, ash, and gases to escape from below the surface

(12). Weathering landforms: 

Landform that is created as a result of weathering of rocks and soil. It includes:

  • Bornhardt: A large dome-shaped, steep-sided, bald rock
  • Etchplain: Plain where the bedrock has been subject to considerable subsurface weathering
  • Flared slope: Rock-wall with a smooth transition into a concavity at the foot zone
  • Flute:
  • Honeycomb weathering: Form of cavernous weathering and subcategory of tafoni
  • Inselberg: Isolated rock hill or small mountain that rises abruptly from a relatively flat surrounding plain
  • Karst: Topography from dissolved soluble rocks
  • Nubbin: Small and gentle hill consisting of a bedrock core dotted with rounded residual blocks
  • Panhole: Shallow depression or basin eroded into flat or gently sloping cohesive rock (Weathering pit)
  • Tafoni: Small to large indentations in vertical to steeply sloping granular rock
  • Tor: Large, free-standing rock outcrop that rises abruptly from the surrounding smooth and gentle slopes of a rounded hill summit or ridge crest

Landform by Shape

On the basis of shape of their shape, the landforms are classified into following groups;

(1). Positive Landforms: 

  • Bornhardt: A large dome-shaped, steep-sided, bald rock
  • Cinder cone: Steep conical hill of loose pyroclastic fragments around a volcanic vent
  • Cryptodome
  • Dome: geological deformated structure
  • Drumlin: Geological feature formed by glacial ice acting on underlying unconsolidated till or ground moraine
  • Granite dome: Rounded hills of bare granite formed by exfoliation
  • Hillock: Small hill
  • Inselberg: Isolated rock hill or small mountain that rises abruptly from a relatively flat surrounding plain
  • Lava dome: Roughly circular protrusion from slowly extruded viscous volcanic lava
  • Lava spine: Vertically growing monolith of viscous lava that is slowly forced from a volcanic vent, such as those growing on a lava dome
  • Mesa: Elevated area of land with a flat top and sides that are usually steep cliffs
  • Mogote: Steep-sided residual hill of limestone, marble, or dolomite on a flat plain
  • Nubbin:  Small and gentle hill consisting of a bedrock core dotted with rounded residual blocks
  • Tor: Large, free-standing rock outc
  • Tor:  Large, free-standing rock outcrop that rises abruptly from the surrounding smooth and gentle slopes of a rounded hill summit or ridge crest
  • Tower karst
  • Tuya:  Flat-topped, steep-sided volcano formed when lava erupts through a thick glacier or ice sheet
  • Palsa:  A low, often oval, frost heave occurring in polar and subpolar climates
  • Pingo: Mound of earth-covered ice
  • Pyroclastic shield: Shield volcano formed mostly of pyroclastic and highly explosive eruptions
  • Resurgent dome: Dome formed by swelling or rising of a caldera floor due to movement in the magma chamber beneath it
  • Seamount: A mountain rising from the ocean seafloor that does not reach to the water’s surface
  • Shield volcano:  Low profile volcano usually formed almost entirely of fluid lava flows
  • Stratocone:
  • Stratovolcano: Type of conical volcano composed of layers of lava and tephra
  • Volcanic cone:  Landform of ejecta from a volcanic vent piled up in a conical shape
  • Volcanic island:

(2). Depressions or Depressed Landforms: 

The depressed and concave shaped landform is known as the depression. Following are the best examples of the depression.

  • Caldera: Cauldron-like volcanic feature formed by the emptying of a magma chamber
  • Cave: Natural underground space large enough for a human to enter
  • Cenote: natural pit or sinkhole that exposes groundwater underneath
  • Cirque: An amphitheatre-like valley formed by glacial erosion
  • Crevasse: A deep crack, or fracture, in an ice sheet or glacier
  • Deflation hollow
  • Doline: Depression or hole in the ground caused by collapse of the surface into an existing void space
  • Gnamma
  • Graben: Depressed block of planetary crust bordered by parallel faults
  • Honeycomb weathering: Form of cavernous weathering and subcategory of tafoni
  • Impact crater: Circular depression on a solid astronomical body formed by a hypervelocity impact of a smaller object
  • Joint valley:
  • Kettle: Depression/hole in an outwash plain formed by retreating glaciers or draining floodwaters
  • Lagoon: Shallow body of water separated from a larger body of water by a narrow landform
  • Lake: Large body of relatively still water
  • Lava lake: Molten lava contained in a volcanic crater
  • Maar: Low-relief volcanic crater
  • Nivation hollow: Geomorphic processes associated with snow patches
  • Oxbow lake: part of meanders
  • Panhole: Shallow depression or basin eroded into flat or gently sloping cohesive rock
  • Plunge pool: Depression at the base of a waterfall created by the erosional force of falling water and rocks where it lands
  • Pond: Relatively small body of standing water
  • Pull-apart basin: Structural basin where two overlapping faults or a fault bend creates an area of crustal extension which causes the basin to subside
  • Quarry: A place from which a geological material has been excavated from the ground
  • Rift: Part of a volcano where a set of linear cracks form
  • Sea cave: Cave formed by the wave action of the sea and located along present or former coastlines
  • Sinkhole:Depression or hole in the ground caused by collapse of the surface into an existing void space
  • Tafoni:Small to large indentations in vertical to steeply sloping granular rock
  • Thermokarst: Irregular land surface of marshy hollows and small hummocks formed as permafrost thaws
  • Volcanic crater: Roughly circular depression in the ground caused by volcanic activity
  • Volcanic dam: Natural dam produced directly or indirectly by volcanism

(3). Flat Landforms:

Flat shaped landform like a plane, bench, the continental shelf is known as the ”flat landforms”.

  • Abyssal fan: Underwater geological structures associated with large-scale sediment deposition
  • Abyssal plain: Flat area on the deep ocean floor
  • Bench: long, relatively narrow land bounded by distinctly steeper slopes above and below
  • Butte: Isolated hill with steep, often vertical sides and a small, relatively flat top
  • Continental shelf: Coastal and oceanic landform
  • Cryoplanation terrace: Formation of plains, terraces and pediments in periglacial environments
  • Dissected plateau: Plateau area that has been severely eroded so that the relief is sharp
  • Etchplain: Plain where the bedrock has been subject to considerable subsurface weathering
  • Floodplain: Land adjacent to a river which is flooded during periods of high discharge
  • Fluvial terrace: Elongated terraces that flank the sides of floodplains and river valleys
  • Inselberg plain: Isolated rock hill or small mountain that rises abruptly from a relatively flat surrounding plain
  • Lacustrine terrace: A step-like landform
  • Lava field, also known as lava plain
  • Oceanic basin: Large geologic basins that are below sea level
  • Oceanic plateau: Relatively flat submarine region that rises well above the level of the ambient seabed
  • Outwash fan: Fan-shaped body of sediments deposited by braided streams from a melting glacier
  • Outwash plain: Plain formed from glacier sediment that was transported by meltwater.
  • Paleoplain: A buried erosion plain; a particularly large and flat erosion surface
  • Pediplain: Extensive plain formed by the coalescence of pediments
  • Peneplain: Low-relief plain formed by protracted erosion
  • Plain: expanse of land which is mostly flat and treeless
  • Planation surface: Large-scale surface that is almost flat
  • Plateau: area of a highland, usually of relatively flat terrain
  • Polje: Type of large flat plain found in karstic geological regions
  • Raised beach: A raised beach is also known as Marine terrace – Beach or wave-cut platform raised above the shoreline by a relative fall in the sea level
  • River delta: Silt deposition landform at the mouth of a river
  • Salt marsh: Coastal ecosystem between land and open saltwater that is regularly flooded
  • Salt pan: Flat expanse of ground covered with salt and other minerals
  • Sandur: Plain formed from glacier sediment that was transported by meltwater.
  • Strandflat: Landform typical of the Norwegian coast consisting of a flattish erosion surface on the coast and near-coast seabed
  • Strath: Large valley is known as strath
  • Swamp: A forested wetland
  • Table: Raised landforms that have a flat top
  • Tidal marsh: Marsh subject to tidal change in water
  • Tepui: Table-top mountain or mesa in the Guiana Highlands of South America
  • Volcanic plateau: Plateau produced by volcanic activity
  • Wave-cut platform: Narrow flat area often found at the base of a sea cliff or along the shoreline of a lake, bay, or sea that was created by erosion

 

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