Geomorphology: concepts and recent technologies

Teresa Gallotti Florenzano

The relief area of the earth surface, object of the Geomorphology, is an important factor in the human’s life. It influences since the construction of a house, the management of the agriculture, the choice of the place for tourism, to the implantation of great engineering works and the strategic planning in war situations.

Because of the relief area being highlighted in satellite images, the Geomorphology is one of the sciences that benefits most from the technology of the remote sensing. This technology enables our spectral, spatial and temporal vision of the terrestrial environments.

Innovating, this book details the compartments of fluvial, coast and karst reliefs, among others; the tectonic processes and the dynamics which shape the terrestrial surface, such as mass wasting.

Throughout the 10 chapters, the reader will have the opportunity to perceive the reason why Geomorphology has become an indispensable base to the environmental planning and studies.

Original title
Geomorfologia: conceitos e tecnologias atuais
Year of publication

About the authors

Teresa G. Florenzano

Teresa G. Florenzano is a geographer and holds a PhD in Physical Geography, from Universidade de São Paulo. She is a researcher at Instituto Nacional de Pesquisas Espacias (Inpe), and also collaborates in the didactic field, in courses on Satellite Images Interpretation.

1. Introduction to Geomorphology

1.1 Geomorphology – object of study

1.2 Development of the geomorphological science


2. Remote sensing for Geomorphology

2.1 Images interpretation

2.2 Image processing techniques

2.3 Optical images interpretation

2.4 Radar images interpretation

2.5 Remote sensing data selection


3. Topographic data

3.1 Preparation of digital elevation models

3.2 Automatic extraction of morphometric variants

3.3 Application of morphometric analysis with GIS


4. Cartography

4.1 Geomorphological cartography in the world

4.2 Geomorphological cartography in Brazil

4.3 Proposal to a relief units letter

4.4 Landscape units cartography


5. The tectonic and the forms of relief

5.1 Earth internal structure

5.2 Plate tectonics

5.3 Classification of the great relief units

5.4 Relief forms of tectonic origins

5.5 Brazilian tectonic environments


6. Mass wasting

6.1 Classification of the mass wasting

6.2 Prevision of the mass wasting

6.3 Mapping scars

6.4 Case studies in Brazil


7. Karst environments

7.1 Chemical dissolution in the karst model

7.2 Water action in the karst relief

7.3 Karst forms

7.4 Remote sensing in the study of karst environments

7.5 Brazilian karst environments


8. Fluvial environments

8.1 Basics of the fluvial geomorphology

8.2 Information derived from remote sensing

8.3 Obtaining remote sensing fluvial information


9. Coastal environments

9.1 Coastal processes

9.2 Level of the sea

9.3 Coastal deposition systems

9.4 Erosive shores

9.5 Quaternary evolution of the coast zone


10. Ecological and economic zoning

10.1 Remote sensing and GIS

10.2 Thematic maps

10.3 Soil loss vulnerability

10.4 Agricultural aptitude

10.5 Legal incompatibility

10.6 Subsidies to the territorial management