Articles

DUAL NATURE OF PHYSIOGRAPHY

Science  04 Jul 1930:
Vol. 72, Issue 1853, pp. 3-5
DOI: 10.1126/science.72.1853.3

Abstract

Physiography may be viewed from two distinct angles, the one dynamic, the other passive. The processes hold the fascination inherent in energy and force; the products exhibit all the beauty and diversity of form in the composition of landscapes. The tacit adoption of a particular view-point not only will avoid confusion but will also simplify to a great extent both oral and written presentation of physiographic subjects, especially to beginners. We ought, perhaps, to discriminate clearly between process and product.

In a restricted fashion geodynamics studies the process, force or activity, simply acknowledging the form as a passive result. Geomorphology considers that form to be a detailed expression of the influence of rock and structure and acknowledges the process as a cause chiefly in relation to the gross lineaments of the ensemble.

In a large fashion geodynamics is intimately associated with certain branches of geology, as sedimentation, while geomorphology connects physiography with geography. The dynamic interlude representing the active phase of physiography weaves the basic threads of geologic history.