Weathering geomorphology: Theoretical and methodological themes

Viva G. Nordberg, Alice V. Turkington

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


The history of geomorphic thought may be summarized as a series of dominant theoretical or methodological trends consisting of natural law and classification, W. M. Davis’s geographical cycle and denudation chronology, process geomorphology, systems analysis, and the more contemporary nonlinear dynamical systems approaches. This history may be an apt description of the development of certain geomorphic subfields over the last 100 years, but it does not properly describe the history of rock weathering research. Despite being an integral component of much geomorphic work, the focus of weathering geomorphology has been on qualitative research, with less emphasis on geomorphic theory. This anomalous development is in part a reflection of the specific research questions addressed and the availability or adoption of analytical techniques. Additionally, the differing path reflects the applied nature of the research conducted and disciplinary differences between weathering researchers and other geomorphologists. The authors call for a closer examination of the historical developments and trends within all subfields of geomorphology in order to provide a better understanding of the discipline itself. In terms of weathering geomorphology, there is also a need for greater promotion of the importance of weathering processes to geomorphologists and recognition of disciplinary commonalities.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)418-437
Number of pages20
JournalPhysical Geography
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2004


  • History of geomorphology
  • Methodology
  • Theory
  • Weathering geomorphology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Environmental Science
  • Atmospheric Science
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • General Earth and Planetary Sciences


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