Geomorphic Process

By : Neha Dhyani

Updated : Mar 28, 2022, 9:52

The Geomorphic Process is important for building the landforms on our planet. Our planet Earth contains several crust components made of rocks, minerals, and soil. On our planet, we see several landforms which include mountains, valleys, and deserts. The dynamic nature of the earth's crust results in the formation of new landforms. Several internal and external forces from within the earth and earth's atmosphere respectively lead to the Geomorphic Process that cause elevations, depressions, and degradation of the earth's surface.

The Geomorphic Process is the earth's movements that lead to geomorphic changes. The endogenic (internal) and exogenic (external) stresses cause multiple physical (mechanical) and chemical stress on the material of the earth resulting in morphological changes of its surface.

Basic Difference Between Exogenic and Endogenic Geomorphic Process

Exogenic Geomorphic Process

Endogenic Geomorphic Process

Causing External Stress

Causing Internal Stress

The exogenic Geomorphic Process mostly lead to land wearing.

The endogenic Geomorphic Process mostly lead to land building

Exogenic agents include wind, glaciers, ice, groundwater, ocean waves, water

Endogenic agents include primordial heat, volcanic core, tidal friction, radioactivity.

Exogenic Geomorphic Process includes mass wasting or movements, erosion, deposition, and weathering.

Endogenic Geomorphic Process includes landslides, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, faulting, metamorphism, and diastrophism

Geomorphic agents are the forces that cause the Geomorphic Process.

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Exogenic Geomorphic Process

Exo means “external”. Exogenic Geomorphic Process gets their energy from external agents. The exogenic Geomorphic Process is generally included in the broad term, denudation. This means to “denude” or uncover. The exogenic Geomorphic Process includes weathering, erosion, and transportation of soil from one place to another. Different climatic regions are exposed to different kinds and degrees of exogenic Geomorphic Process.

  • Weathering

Weathering is a Geomorphic Process that leads to the chemical decomposition of rocks and mechanical disintegration of soil caused by different agents like water in the form of rain or wind. Chemical weathering includes hydration, oxidation, carbonation, and reduction of soil components as they interact with air and water. Physical weathering includes pressure and applied force from water and gravitational forces. The very less or negligible motion of soil occurs in this process. Several factors like climate, vegetation, topography, and complexity of the geological surface affect the weathering process.

  • Mass Movements

Mass movements are caused by the direct influence of the gravitational force. The displacement of rocks by sliding and falling due to the pull of gravity. Weathered slopes commonly lead to mass movements. Some common reasons that lead mass movements include

  • Removal of support naturally or artificially
  • Increase in the slope gradient
  • Artificial overloading of the material
  • Occurrence of earthquakes or explosions
  • Removal of natural vegetation

These above-mentioned factors generally cause mass movements.

  • Erosion and Deposition

This exogenic Geomorphic Process leads to the removal and deposition of soil or rock debris from one place to another. The common exogenic agents that cause this include running water, glaciers, wind, or groundwater.

Endogenic Geomorphic Process

Endogenic Geomorphic Process derive their energy from internal forces. Geothermal energies vent out of the earth's crust resulting in volcanic eruptions (igneous processes) and diastrophism (tectonic processes) to cause landform building at a large scale. The intensity of the endogenic force and the strength and thickness of the earth's crust determine the changes observed on the external surface.

  • Volcanic Eruptions

Volcanic eruptions are commonly caused due to the external movement of the molten magma. Volcanism refers to the extrusion of rock matter on the external surface. The majority of volcanoes are found at the subduction zones, mid-oceanic ridges, and rift valleys.

  • Diastrophism

Diastrophism is a Geomorphic Process that is caused by tectonic forces or movement of tectonic plates causing folding, warping, bending, and fracture of the earth's crust. Earthquakes are sudden trembling or movement of the earth's surface as it releases the tectonic stress along the fault line. The majority of earthquakes occur around the Pacific Ocean Basin also known as the Pacific Ring of Fire.

All the endothermic and exothermic Geomorphic Process leads to the uneven terrain on the earth's surface. The dynamic movements constantly make and degrade the surface of the soil.

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FAQs on Geomorphic Process

Q.1) What is Geomorphic Process?

The Geomorphic Process is external and internal forces that lead to morphological changes on the earth's surface.

Q.2) What are the 4 Geomorphic Processes?

Weathering, mass wasting, erosion and deposition are exogenic Geomorphic Processes.

Q.3) Is diastrophism a Geomorphic Process? What does it mean?

Yes. Diastrophism is a Geomorphic Process. It is caused by tectonic forces or movement of tectonic plates causing folding, warping, bending, and fracture of the earth's crust.

Q.4) What is the endogenic Geomorphic Process?

Processes that gain their energy from internal forces is called endogenic Geomorphic Process.