Terminology of long-term geomorphology: a Scandinavian perspective
AbstractIn this paper the terminology used in long-term geomorphology is evaluated. Long-term geomorphology is the study of landforms that are of mostly pre-Quaternary, Cenozoic, Mesozoic or even Palaeozoic age. Many terms have been introduced to name the long-term large-scale landforms that persist to the present. The definitions of many of these terms are ambiguous, have changed over time, and their use and meaning is consequently often unclear. An attempt is made to clarify definitions, when possible, and to facilitate more concise usage of these terms. Long-term geomorphology deals in great parts with the lowering of a land surface to the base level (mostly sea level), leaving a new land surface. The largest group of terms concerns descriptions and genetic models for these kinds of new land surfaces collectively called `base level surfaces' here. Other terms discussed here relate to relict and preglacial landforms and regional terms for stepped surfaces. Terminology is discussed with particular reference to examples from and its use in Scandinavia. There is a long history of long-term geomorphology study in this region. Scandinavia is unique in the respect that pre-Quaternary landforms were repeatedly covered by Quaternary ice sheets but often survived with different degrees of glacial modification.