Early modern geomo
Early modern geomorphology
The first use of the word geomorphology was likely to be in the German language when it appeared in Laumann's 1858 work. Keith Tinkler has suggested that the word came into general use in English, German and French after John Wesley Powell and W. J. McGee used it in the International Geological Conference of 1891.
An early popular geomorphic model was the geographical cycle or the cycle of erosion, developed by William Morris Davis between 1884 and 1899. The cycle was inspired by theories of uniformitarianism first formulated by James Hutton (1726–1797). Concerning valley forms, uniformitarianism depicted the cycle as a sequence in which a river cuts a valley more and more deeply, but then erosion of side valleys eventually flatten the terrain again, to a lower elevation. Tectonic uplift could start the cycle over. Many studies in geomorphology in the decades following Davis' development of his theories sought to fit their ideas into this framework for broad scale landscape evolution, and are often today termed "Davisian". Davis' ideas have largely been superseded today, mainly due to their lack of predictive power and qualitative nature, but he remains an extremely important figure in the history of the subject.
In the 1920s, Walther Penck developed an alternative model to Davis', believing that landform evolution was better described as a balance between ongoing processes of uplift and denudation, rather than Davis' single uplift followed by decay. However, due to his relatively young death, disputes with Davis and a lack of English translation of his work his ideas were not widely recognised for many years.
These authors were both attempting to place the study of the evolution of the Earth's surface on a more generalized, globally relevant footing than had existed before. In the earlier parts of the 19th century, authors - especially in Europe - had tended to attribute the form of landscape to local climate, and in particular to the specific effects of glaciation andperiglacial processes. In contrast, both Davis and Penck were seeking to emphasize the importance of evolution of landscapes through time and the generality of Earth surface processes across different landscapes under different conditions