The surface of Earth is covered with various landforms, a number of which are discussed in various entries throughout this book. This essay is devoted to the study of landforms themselves, a subdiscipline of the geologic sciences known as geomorphology. The latter, as it has evolved since the end of the nineteenth century, has become an interdisciplinary study that draws on areas as diverse as plate tectonics, ecology, and meteorology. Geomorphology is concerned with the shaping of landforms, through such processes as subsidence and uplift, and with the classification and study of such landforms as mountains, volcanoes, and islands.

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