Geomorphometry and Mountain Geodynamics: Issues of Scale and Complexity

Authored by: Dale A. Quattrochi , Elizabeth A. Wentz , Nina Siu-Ngan Lam , Charles W. Emerson , Michael P. Bishop , Iliyana D. Dobreva

Integrating Scale in Remote Sensing and GIS

Print publication date:  January  2017
Online publication date:  January  2017

Print ISBN: 9781482218268
eBook ISBN: 9781315373720
Adobe ISBN:


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Mountain geodynamics refers to multiple aspects of mountain building that include relief production and polygenetic landscape evolution caused by complex interactions of atmospheric, surface, and tectonic processes (Montgomery 1994; Koons 1995; Burbank et al. 1996; Bishop and Shroder 2000; Zeitler et al. 2001; Bishop et al. 2003, 2012). Numerous pathways and feedback mechanisms exist, as the topography partially governs climate, surface processes, and rock strength and uplift (Koons et al. 2002; Bishop et al. 2010). Researchers have long recognized that topography represents the structural manifestation of mountain geodynamics and have therefore focused on the analysis of digital elevation models (DEMs) to extract information about landforms, erosion and deposition, lithology, uplift and relief production, tectonic zones, and the nature of polygenetic landscape evolution. Spatial and morphometric information is vital for understanding the role of specific surface processes in mountain geodynamics (e.g., mass movement, fluvial erosion, and glaciation) and for investigating the controversies associated with climatic versus tectonic forcing (Raymo and Ruddiman 1992; Montgomery 1994; Snyder et al. 2000; Montgomery et al. 2001; Reiners et al. 2003; Jamieson et al. 2004). Furthermore, such information is critical for understanding the alpine critical zone and its ability to support and sustain ecosystems and resources in these rapidly changing environments (Baudo et al. 2007; Bishop et al. 2015).

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