Allan James. Office Hours:  TBA    Rm 107 Callcott Building; 777-6117.


Required Books and Materials:

1. Short, N.M. and Blair, R.W. 1986. Geomorphology from Space: A Global Overview of Regional Landforms, Wash.: NASA. The book is out of print, but copies of the CD will be provided.

2. Selby, M.J. 1985. Earth's Changing Surface, N.Y.: Oxford Univ. Press; 607 pp. paper.

3. A.James, n.d. Supplementary materials to be handed out in class.


A Geologic Dictionary - any flavor.

Access to a world atlas (for reference).


This course concentrates on regional geomorphic interpretations of imagery derived from space. Although the study of geomorphology (landforms) is practiced at all spatial scales from regional to microscopic, this seminar focuses on small scale images of landforms. Geomorphology practiced at this scale has a long tradition and a rich literature.  Although the old methods were not as scientifically rigorous as modern standards require, this tradition provides a foundation for small-scale geomorphic studies. Interest in small-scale or regional mapping is growing in response to the proliferation of mapping technology (e.g. satellite digital image processing) and concern over global change. The dearth and utility of regional geomorphic maps in North America will undoubtedly lead to a new wave of mapping in the USA.

This course builds an understanding of regional geomorphology and develops skills in the interpretation of geomorphic forms from remotely sensed imagery.  Interpretive skills include not only landform identification, but also inference of physical processes of genesis and the internal structures of landforms.  Such inferences provide linkages between large features that can be identified on satellite images, and smaller features that are not visible. The ability to infer process and internal structure from form requires an understanding of geomorphic processes which will be the dominant theme of the course.  Discussions may  turn toward remote sensing methodologies such as data acquisition and enhancement as they pertain to the interpretation of images, but neither remote sensing technology nor image processing will be emphasized.