Types Of Landforms: From The Top Of The Globe To The Depths Of The Sea

The earth is a fascinating, varied, and geographical location with a wealth of information. Have you ever noticed a generic wallpaper appear as a screensaver and been able to deduce where it’s from based on the forms of landforms?

The explanation is that all over the globe, extraordinary and amazing events have occurred. Throughout Earth’s existence, these events have spawned a succession of terrain that make each location distinct.

Do you want to know about the world’s tallest peaks? Want to know what a mid-ocean ridge looks like and where it may be found on the globe? It’s time you stopped by. We explore the amazing face of our planet in this article. You’ll learn about the many kinds of landforms found all around the world and how they’re arranged.

Table of Contents

What is a Landform?

A landform is a “feature on the Earth’s surface that is part of the terrain,” according to National Geographic. The topographic significance of a formation depends on whether it sticks out of the ground or sinks into it.

Have you ever noticed that the scenery in your hometown isn’t particularly remarkable when you glance out of your window or drive by it? You’ll want to rethink things after reading this article.

Land is like an archive of earth’s history. It tells you a variety of tales about its history once you know how to read it properly. Just like any other language, learning how to read it takes time. It broadens your perspective of the importance and brilliance of all those formations around you when you learn.

While we added one more in the section below, there are four primary forms of landforms. Four hypotheses are widely accepted by scientists. Mountains, plateaus, hills, and plains are among the types of terrain found here. These broad and generic classifications apply to everything else.

An “uvala,” for example, is a sinkhole that is longer and broader than the average. Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Slovenia, Herzegovina, Montenegro, and Serbia are the only places where you’ll find an uvala.

1. Significant Types of Landforms

The four major categories of landforms are mountains, hills, plateaus, and plains. Whether you’re interested in geography or not, almost everyone knows them. It’s because they have a lot in common. They may be found in a variety of biomes across the globe.

On, in, or nearby these five, there are a plethora of minor landforms to discover. These, on the other hand, encompass a large amount of territory.

It’s helpful to understand these five landforms whether or not you need to know a lot about geography. To find examples of all of these landforms, let’s take a quick tour around the world.

1.1 Mountains

Because of their scale and diversity, mountains are easily recognized as a landform. Because of their lovely beauty, mountains are often the most popular kind of landform for people looking out or down from them.

What distinguishes a mountain? Mountains are formed by steep hills that climb to the top, which we will discuss later in the article. A mountain is defined as a landform that rises 1,000 feet (300 meters) or higher above the surrounding area by most geologists.

Geologists must also take into account additional characteristics when classifying a mountain, such as its slope and sea level height. Before it gets more scientific, there are several factors to consider.

Mountains may be found in ranges that reach the sky, as well as others. They may be found on the ocean’s bottom as well. From the depths of the ocean, some of the world’s highest peaks emerge.

Because of how mountains develop, they exist in this form. The creation of mountains is dominated by tectonic plates. Tectonic plates are found all over the earth’s surface. We all live on solid land that slowly moves across the asthenosphere, which is why these plates are solid. The lava that lies beneath the earth is known as the asthenosphere.

These plates are incredibly sluggish in their movements. They cause enormous impacts on the earth’s surface, even if they move at a leisurely pace. Natural disasters, such as earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, and flooding, were sometimes caused by them. They’re usually just visible at other times.

Examples of Mountains and Ranges Throughout the World

Let’s first look at the ranges of mountains, followed by a list of globally recognized mountain examples. We now have the following major mountain ranges:

Shad spend the majority of their lives in saltwater, unlike eels. They migrate to Florida to spawn between December and April, going into the St John’s and Nassau Rivers.

  • Himalayas
  • Andes
  • Rocky Mountains
  • Alps
  • Appalachian Mountains
  • Ural Mountains
  • Karakoram
  • Sierra Nevada
  • Atlas Mountains
  • Pyrenees
  • Dolomites

You’ll be able to identify mountain ranges in photographs as you become more familiar with them. Each mountain range has its own set of peaks and geological materials, which appeared independently.

The most well-known or tallest peaks from each of these ranges are included in our following list.

  • Mount Everest (29,032’ / 8,848 m)
  • Aconcagua (22,842’ / 6,962 m)
  • Mount Elbert (14,429’ / 4,297 m)
  • Mont Blanc (15,777’ / 4,808 m)
  • Mount Mitchell (6,684’ / 2,037 m)
  • Mount Narodnaya (6,217’ / 1,894 m)
  • K2 (28,251’ / 8,611 m)
  • Mount Whitney (14,505’ / 4,421 m)
  • Toubkal (13,671’ / 4,167 m)
  • Aneto (11,168’ / 3,405 m)
  • Marmolada (10,968’ / 3,343 m)

Other well-known mountains can be found across the globe. Mount Kilimanjaro, Mount Fuji, Denali, and the Matterhorn are among the examples listed here. The fact that they are all self-contained is fascinating. Each of these mountains stands out from the Matterhorn, which is the lowest of them all.

Mountain ranges’ cultural significance is another factor that may make them famous. The snowy peaks of mountains have a lot of mystery for many people who live in their shadows, and they’re often included into folklore in the local area.

1.2 Hills

Hills are comparable to little mountains in certain ways. Mountains have a lot in common with them. Hills, for example, must be higher than the surrounding area. Tectonic activity may also cause them to form. Yet, erosion plays a bigger role in the creation of hills than mountains.

Hills are more modest in height and slope than mountains. Some hills’ heights are comparable to those of minor mountains, yet their gently sloping form prevents them from being a mountain.

Rolling hills are quite popular in parts of the globe with hilly terrain. They’re captivating, but not difficult to follow. California, for example, is full of gently sloping hills that are extremely attractive.

The following are some of the most well-known hills in the world:

While certain hills, such as Glastonbury Tor, have more to do with their past than their geographical appeal, they are nonetheless well-known. Richard Whiting, the last Abbot of Glastonbury Abbey, and two monks were killed at the Tor.

The hill and its terraced slopes have long been the subject of folklore, including tales about King Arthur and intriguing Celtic mythology. To this day, many of the historical remains on and in the hill remain a mystery.

1.3 Plains

Plains are the polar opposite of mountains and hills. They’re essentially level expanses of land with barely any topographical variation. Depending on how and where they are formed, high and low plains exist.

Compared to the variety found in hills and mountains, plains may not seem as appealing. They are, however, vast expanses of land that occupy a substantial portion of the planet above sea level. Plains cover roughly 19 million square miles of land in total.

Plains can come in a variety of shapes and sizes. The erosion of hills and mountains might be why they’re there. A lava flow that dried and became fruitful millennia later might also cause them to be present.

From large to small, plains can be found all over the globe. Plains are found in a variety of situations, including:

The biodiversity that plains support is what makes them valuable. Depending on where they are, they are usually the habitat for huge numbers of animals such as buffalo, zebras, and wild horses.

1.4 Plateaus

Plateaus were formerly regarded as elevated plains, but their classification and number have changed enough to warrant a new name. A plateau is a elevated area of land with at least one border on either side that is mostly flat.

Plateaus are claimed to be ancient mountains whose summit levels and peaks have eroded down through time, according to one theory. They now stretch across vast regions of the globe, covering hundreds of thousands of kilometers. Buttes, mesas, and canyons are common formations you’ll see on them.

The following are some of the world’s largest plateaus:

  • Mongolian Plateau – 1,000,000 square miles
  • Colorado Plateau – 240,000 square miles
  • Tibetan Plateau – 970,000 square miles
  • Mexican Plateau – 232,488 square miles

Hundreds of smaller plateaus may be found across the globe. Their sizes change each year, some more noticeably than others, due to the fact that they are often caused by erosion.

2. Different Types of Minor Landforms

There are hundreds of minor landforms across the globe, beyond the four major landforms. Whether via wind and water erosion, ocean currents, or volcanic eruptions, these were formed in a variety of ways.

Some have less to do with their form and more to do with the sort of material they include, while others are found in specific biomes.

Under the heading of “small landform,” we’ve constructed a list of the main sorts of landforms that formed in various biomes.

We’ve got it all: from desert landforms to volcanic landforms. We provide features from three to nine examples of landforms beneath each subheading. The sorts we thought were the most appealing or important to comprehend inside the category are listed below. In the subcategory, we also include a list of additional landforms that exist.

2.1 Aeolian or Desert Landforms

A biome is what deserts are, not landforms. There are a lot of unique landforms, though. The erosive effect of the wind has produced the majority of them. Aeolus, the Greek god of wind, is the source of our name. If you ask us, this is an appropriate name for desert landforms.

Featured Aeolian Landforms

2.1.1 DRY LAKE

A dry lake is a depression or basin-like formation in the earth that previously held a standing body of water. It’s also known as a “playa.” The water has vanished from a dry lake when it becomes one.

When evaporation exceeds the rate of recharge, whether from ground reservoirs below or precipitation, a dry lake is formed. It’s often used to describe the biome around it shifting. At one time in history, a rich region may have been turned into desertification.

Namak Lake in Iran and the Sailing Stone at Racetrack Playa are both examples of a dry lake. In the world’s deserts, there are a few of them. You might refer to it as a “alkali flat” if the bottom of the lake bed is covered in alkalines.


A yardang is a visually gorgeous landform that isn’t only a amusing term. Excessive amounts of wind wear away rock in one direction, resulting in yardangs, which is when materials are consolidated on top of each other. The process of building stone towers that lean in one direction is what causes this dual-action phenomenon.

In the central Sahara desert, near the Tibesti Mountains, there are massive yardangs. Several of Arizona’s most notable landforms, including yardangs, are landforms.


A certain kind of dune is known as a barchan or barkhan. To generate visual appeal, they are shaped by the wind in a custom manner. The term “barchan” was originally used by Russian naturalist Alexander von Middendorf to describe the dunes he discovered in Turkestan.

A crescent-shaped dune is known as a barchan. From certain angles, they seem to be convex, but on the leeward side, they are concave. When the surface is smooth enough for the wind to blow in a single direction, they develop when there isn’t as much loose sand present. The crescent shape is formed by the sand avalanching down the unstable slip face.

2.1.4 Other Types of Aeolian Landforms

  • Blowout
  • Desert Pavement
  • Desert Varnish
  • Dreikanter
  • Dune
  • Erg
  • Loess
  • Sandhill
  • Ventifact

2.2 Coastal Landforms

The land located at the ocean’s edge is what most of us are already familiar with. Coasts may be found all around the globe, in a variety of shapes. White sand beaches, steep escarpments, and rocky shorelines are all part of the mix.

The currents of the ocean have a significant influence on coastal landforms. Several materials are forced upwards, resulting in several of the landforms along the coast. Wind erosion is still a significant factor in the erosion of some shorelines due to ocean water.

Tectonic plate activity is responsible for a lot of our coastline. Some landforms are created by underwater volcanoes. Below, we have included a comprehensive list of the various types that we have featured.

Featured Coastal Landforms

2.2.1 ARCH

When tall stone formations protrude out from an elevated section of the coastline, they become coastal arches, or sea arches. The ocean goes to work on them because they’re at least partially in the water.

Portions of the stone that are weaker erode as ocean waters bite away at it. Eventually, as the water passes through a channel created by their growth in the rock, they may create a huge arch.

They may be rather huge and magnificent, depending on the arch. On the screensavers mentioned at the beginning, you’ve most likely seen one of them. The Kleftiko Beach Sea Arch, Great Pollet Arch, Hopewell Rocks, Honopu Arch, and Pigeon Rocks are just a few of the world’s most stunning sea arches.


If you study geography, an archipelago is a fascinating coastal landform that’s worth knowing about. A group of islands that are all close enough to be considered a single unit is known as an archipelago.

When the ocean’s current carries silt onto a coral reef until it becomes towering enough to tower above the water, an archipelago is formed. To drive the islands high enough above sea level to make them livable, a tectonic movement is often required.

The Florida Keys, Indonesian Archipelago, Maldives, Bahamas, and Azores are just a few of the most well-known archipelagos. To put it another way, they’re fantastic tourist destinations.

Several are located in colder climates. These frequently develop more like mountains pushed out of the water or the sinking of the lower land due to a lack of coral reefs in cold waters. The Canadian Arctic Archipelago and the British Isles are two examples.

2.2.3 BEACH

A beach is a thin strip of land that separates a water body from the surrounding land. Beaches are frequently found next to every body of water, even if they’re just a few inches wide. Rivers, lakes, and oceans all have beaches.

Water erosion gradually removes the topsoil from beaches, resulting in a gradual slope. The current then deposits sand and other materials. Pebbles and seashell chips will be found among the remains.

The majority of the world’s finest beaches lie near the equator. Pigeon Point, Trinidad, and Long Beach, Vietnam are examples.

2.2.4 CAPE

While it does not have to be, a cape is more often a prominent coastal feature. Like a lake or ocean, it’s a high stripe of land that extends into a body of water. The main landmass in the area is connected by a number of capes. Others are located on an island that stands out from the main island body.

A peninsula is a formation that looks like a cape. A peninsula makes up a significant portion of a mainland unit, which is one of the most important distinctions. Because it is so big and firmly attached to the mainland United States, Florida is a peninsula. In contrast to the big Cape Hatteras in North Carolina, these are smaller islands.

2.2.5 FJORD

The term fjord is Norwegian in origin and is well-known in the country. They are found in Canada and Russia, as well as in Norway and Iceland, but they are not abundant.

Between the sea and steep cliffs, a fjord is a small, deep, long inlet. When a glaciated valley is immersed, it forms a fjord. The sea, ocean, or other water bodies fill in behind the glacier as it cuts its way into part of the coastline.

The beauty of fjords is often striking. The Misty Fjords of Alaska, the Westfjords of Iceland, and the Sognefjord of Norway are all well-known fjords in Patagonia, Chile.

2.2.6 ISLAND

Islands are areas of land surrounded by water. They may be as little as little blips with a few trees on top, or as big as entire countries like England and Ireland.

All types of islands emerge in various ways. At one time, they were coral reefs that had been pushed out of the water. When underwater volcanoes erupt, their lava cools and creates islands.

Hawaii has a long list of beautiful islands. Japan and Korea have islands, and Indonesia is mostly made up of islands.


A narrow strip of land with water on both sides is called an isthmus. While they may link tiny islands as well, they bond two geographical regions that are usually considerably bigger.

The Isthmus of Panama and the Isthmus of Suez are the two most well-known isthmuses. North and South America are connected by the Isthmus of Panama. Asia and Africa are connected by the Suez Isthmus. For both geographical and historical reasons, these are very essential.


You can have sea cliffs along a coastline, in contrast to a beach. Waves create and wear down steep sea cliffs composed of soil and rock. They smash into the rocks until a chasm forms at the bottom layers, which fall away.

The remaining land will inevitably become unstable. The ocean will eventually be able to access all new layers of the cliff when it collapses. Until they reach harder rock or the lower ground, sea cliffs continue to retreat.

For this reason, you should be extra careful near the end of a sea cliff. Despite the fact that you are sitting high above the sea, you are not exempt from its dangers. The cliffs of Moher in Ireland, the Kalaupapa Cliffs in Hawaii, and Preikestolen in Norway are all examples of well-known sea cliffs.

2.2.9 Other Types of Coastal Landforms

  • Ayre
  • Barrier bar/barrier island
  • Beach cusps
  • Beach ridge
  • Bight
  • Blowhole
  • Calanque
  • Coast
  • Cove
  • Cuspate foreland
  • Dune system
  • Firth
  • Fjard
  • Headland
  • Machair
  • Marine terrace
  • Peninsula
  • Sea cave
  • Shoal
  • Shore
  • Suge channel
  • Wave cut platform

3.1 Oceanic Landforms

There are several things in the ocean itself, apart from the spectacular landforms near its edge. The sea has a strong influence on the planet’s climate. The oceans account for roughly 96.5% of the water on Earth, covering nearly 71% of the planet’s surface.

Ocean currents are forceful and cyclical activities. They’re used to destroy and create a variety of landforms. All sorts of landforms develop as water flows to the oceans, allowing it to reach its destination. Tectonic activity, such as it is, and volcanic activity are other factors that influence oceanic landforms.

Featured Oceanic Landforms


Millions of colonial marine invertebrate skeletons make up a coral reef, which is an underwater structure. A polyp is the basic unit of coral. The calcium carbonate concentration in the exoskeletons of preceding generations is where polyps live.

One of the few landforms made up of living creatures is a coral reef. They’re used to build a variety of different landforms, including mountains. Islands, beaches, and sandbars all form and perish as reefs do.

The Great Barrier Reef, located off the coast of Australia, is the most well-known coral reef. In the seas of the Northern Hawaiian Islands, there are also magnificent coral reefs.

3.1.2 LAGOON

A lagoon is a little body of water that is divided from the main body of water by a sandbar or coral reef. Depending on what their mother water body was, they can be freshwater or saltwater.

A variety of natural processes create canals in a multitude of ways. The Nanuya Levu in Fiji and the Blue Lagoon in Iceland are two of the most well-known examples. These are two popular tourist attractions due to their beauty.


A ridge system that rises from the ocean basin at random is known as a mid-ocean ridge. Seismically active tectonic plates are known to create them, resulting in a tremendous rise from the ocean’s depths or a split between two plates, resulting in a huge canyon.

The Mid-Atlantic Ridge is the most well-known mid-ocean ridge. Because of the spreading effect of the two tectonic plates that meet in the Atlantic Ocean, this ridge is called an atlantic ridge. Year by year, they got farther and farther apart. As a result, this fracture is referred to as a “spreading center.”


At the deepest point of the ocean, an oceanic trench is a deep and steep depression. They’re big, and they’ve yet to be explored in depth. Several people think that at these depths of the sea, there may be a plethora of undiscovered species.

When one tectonic plate forces itself into and beneath another, oceanic trenches develop. As one side rises, the other lowers, lowering and lower. They eventually develop massive oceanic mountain ranges and volcanoes across the seafloor.

Tonga Trench, South Sandwich Trench, Mariana Trench, and Philippine Trench are some of the oceanic trenches in existence.


For a minute, let’s look at the surface of the ocean. Water always flows back to the ocean after it falls on land or into lakes and rivers. It often develops a river delta as it approaches these massive bodies of water.

A sediment deposition is known as a river delta. Sediment is carried by the river until it reaches a zone of slower-moving or even stagnant water at the mouth. With all kinds of rivulets running through it, it forms a triangular shape.

The Amazon Delta, the Euphrates Delta, the Godavari Delta, and the Indus River Delta are all well-known examples of river deltas. Despite the fact that you can’t discern much about elevation with the delta, they are magnificent and complex formations from above.

3.1.6 Other Types of Oceanic Landforms

  • Abyssal fan
  • Abyssal plain
  • Atoll
  • Bay/gulf
  • Channel
  • Continental shelf
  • Estuary
  • Inlet
  • Islet
  • Oceanic basin
  • Oceanic plateau
  • Ria
  • Saltmarsh
  • Seamount
  • Spit
  • Strait
  • Submarine canyon

4.1 Cryogenic Landforms

When something is exceptionally cold, the term “cryogenic” is frequently used. It’s a mass of land or topographical development in a extremely cold biome found in a cryogenic landform. The majority of them are only found in Antarctica and the Arctic.

The weather and the cycles of deep cold and melt that these areas go through create the majority of cryogenic landforms.

Featured Cryogenic Landforms


In permafrost regions with mineral-rich soil, a lithalsa is a frost-induced piece of raised land that forms. Where there is a growth of a perpetual ice lens in the soil.

In the landscape, a lithalsa is usually nearly a circle. They’re few in number, and their location varies depending on the weather and soil composition. Since they are a weather-dependent landform, there are no places where you can go and locate them.


On a mountain’s slope, nivation hollows are common. They’re shallow depressions in the mountain’s slope that are periodically or continuously filled with snow, which is either permanent or intermittent.

When a snowbank is eroded on the bottom and to the side, nivation occurs. Nivation is usually caused by alternation between freezing and thawing. Nivation hollows, which are common on high, snowy mountain slopes, are not particularly stable features.

4.1.3 PINGO

A pingo is a dome-shaped mound of earth with an ice core. Permafrost places are the most common example. Central Asia is home to some of the most remarkable examples of pingos. At the highest altitudes on Earth, there are pingos. At 13,000′ (4,000 m) above sea level, the Tibetan Plateau contains pingos.


A rock glacier is represented by two occurrences. A periglacial glacier and a glacial rock glacier are the two types of glaciers. Rock, snow, mud, and ice make up the majority of each. Because of gravity, they gradually descend a mountain. A mass of rock with interstitial ice might also be referred to as a rock glacier.

As ice and snow melt over a talus slope, large glaciers develop. They melt into the rocks and get trapped underground, where they freeze. As a consequence, they produce a massive clump of frozen rocks.

The Timpanogos Glacier in Utah is an example of a rock glacier. There are various additional examples, however they may be tough to tell apart from a mountain face due to their size. A fun fact: The Mars Orbiter spacecraft identified some potential candidates on Mars.

4.1.5 Other Types of Cryogenic Landforms

  • Cryoplanation terrace
  • Earth hummocks
  • Palsa
  • Permafrost plateau
  • Solifluction lobes and sheets
  • Thermokarst

5.1 Impact Landforms

Impact landforms develop as a result of extraterrestrial collisions, and everything else beyond Earth. When an asteroid or meteor comes into contact with the earth’s surface, it has a significant impact.

Featured Impact Landforms


A complex crater is an impact crater with multiple uplifted centers that is rather huge. The energy of the collision and the underlying layers of the earth’s crust couldn’t absorb all of the energy from one location when it initially occurred. As a consequence, several areas around the impact site collapsed and rose.


In comparison to other types of impact landforms, impact crater lakes are rather more prevalent. They were first produced by asteroids, but the rest was taken care of by processes on the earth’s surface.

Asteroids that collide with Earth are typically blazing hot when they hit, burning up and disintegrating or breaking apart. Since wherever it hit will be covered extensively in the form of the blow, the initial impact usually forms a circle. The land will form peaks at the periphery of the impact site, becoming the crater.

The Clearwater Lakes in Quebec, Canada, Lake Acraman in Australia, and the Kaali Meteorite Crater Field in Estonia are all examples of crater lakes.

5.1.3 Other Types of Impact Landforms

  • Central peak
  • Cratered landscape
  • Impact crater
  • Simple crater

6.1 Karst Landforms

A landscape or a Karst landform is another term for the same thing. When there’s a field of eroding bedrock close to the soil’s surface, it happens. Sinkholes, caves, and sinking streams are all examples of landforms developed by this dissolving layer of rock. Marble, limestone, and gypsum are all examples of soluble rocks found in Karst.

Featured Karst Landforms

6.1.1 CENOTE

Mexico is home to some well-known cenotes. The Dos Ojos in Yucatan Peninsula and the Ik-Kil Cenote in Chichen Itza are two examples. For species that need controlled temperatures and water mobility, cenotes provide a stable habitat.

Mexico is home to a number of well-known cenotes. The Dos Ojos in the Yucatan Peninsula and Chichen Itza’s Ik-Kil Cenote are two examples. Cenotes offer a habitat for creatures that need steady temperatures and water currents because they are stable.

Swimming in a cenote is a popular tourist attraction, although it isn’t safe. Cenotes, for example, may be difficult to enter and leave because they are holes in the topsoil that lead into a enormous cave. Furthermore, if you swim with any creams or excess oils on your skin, since all types of plants and animals require a pure and balanced environment, you will destroy the ecosystem.


The collapse of minerals and rocks beneath a sinkhole causes it to form as a depression in the ground. Water on the surface wears away at it, and groundwater below it dissolves the rock.

Sinkholes are dangerous in particular places where they occur frequently. There is no way to tell if you are walking over one until you fall inside, so they haven’t collapsed yet. Falling into sinkholes has claimed the lives of many people and caused serious injuries.

The Blue Hole in Dahab, Egypt, the Boesmansgat in South Africa, and Lake Kashiba in Zambia are all well-known examples of sinkholes globally. Sinkholes, which are just starting to form, are common in Florida’s lagoons and woods, and they need caution.


With one exception in England, a turlough is a unique landform found in Ireland. Low-lying patches on top of limestone that are periodically flooded during rainy weather are known as landforms. They fill with groundwater and sometimes become a temporary lake or pond.

Celtic mythology includes the turloughs. Because they would appear and vanish at random intervals for many years, they remained a mystery. The regions may be quite vast at times. Imagine returning to a dazzling lake after a day of strolling through the hills, only to find yourself in a valley.

6.1.4 Other Types of Karst Landforms

  • Abime
  • Calanque
  • Foiba
  • Karst fenster
  • Mogote
  • Polje
  • Scowle
  • Uvala

7.1 Mountain and Glacial Landforms

There are several landforms caused by their movement and development, in addition to the bigger mountains and glaciers. All kinds of unique landforms, sometimes around every bend when you dig into it, can be found beyond the big picture of the mountain.

Featured Mountain and Glacial Landforms

7.1.1 CANYON

Between two larger rock formations, a canyon is a deep gorge. The typicality of canyons is that they are formed by a river running through it.

Moving glaciers may carve out a canyon, at least in part, by cutting between the rocks. The canyons are eroded even more by rivers that enter it.

The Grand Canyon is a superb example of a significant canyon. In all sorts of mountainous areas throughout the globe, or those that used to have glaciers moving through them, there are several smaller ones.

7.1.2 CIRQUE

Another landmass created by glacier erosion is a cirque. Between a semi-circle of high mountain sloops, it takes the form of an amphitheater. These might be small, subtle slopes or massive and towering natural amphitheaters, depending on the case.

Nearly every mountain range in the globe has large and tiny cirques. You’re most likely hiking around the ridge of a cirque if you have to walk in a partial circle from one peak to the next while traversing a steep valley below.

7.1.3 HOODOO

A column of worn rock is known as a hoodoo. A mix of rainwater running over them and wind blowing between them produces hoodoos on a regular basis.

Hausa, a West African language that means “to irk hatred,” is the source of the term “hoodoo.” The land appeared to be rising for vengeance to settlers because of the Hoodoo’s increasing nature and the eery manner in which it does it. Hoodoos are known as “fairy chimneys” as well.

Bryce Canyon National Park is one of the most well-known places on earth for its hoodoo formations. An entire valley is filled with them. There are also many hoodoos scattered throughout Mexico and Arizona as well as in certain parts of Africa.

7.1.4 MESA

A mesa is a mountain or hill with a distinct flat top that comes from the Spanish word for “table.” They are relatively broad at the top, with steep edges that lead to their higher height, akin to a table.

Spanish explorers in the American Southwest gave the name “mesa” to these landforms, which are found in large numbers. They are found all throughout the parched landscape of Arizona and New Mexico.

Mount Conner, as well as many mesa formations found throughout Canyonlands National Park, are excellent examples.

7.1.5 SUMMIT

The highest point in elevation is the summit of a mountain or an elevated area. A peak is found on every mountain. Others are distinctive and provide a objective for mountaineers, while others are more gradual.

Since any famous peak is likely to have a famous summit, providing examples of other notable peaks is challenging for us.

7.1.6 VALLEY

A valley is a depression that lies below mountains or hills. Streams run through them frequently. At its lowest point, all of the water from higher elevations will flow into the valley.

Since not every piece of ground can be pushed to the heights, valleys develop as mountains develop. Some elements of the scale fall while others rise in order to maintain equilibrium. When you gaze out over the majesty of the mountains ahead, valleys quietly observe you.

There are certain vistas that are stunningly lovely and deserving of a second glance. The Great Appalachian Valley, Death Valley, Yosemite Valley, and Imperial Valley are just a few examples.

7.1.7 Other Types of Mountain and Glacial Landforms

  • Badlands
  • Butte
  • Cave
  • Cliff
  • Col
  • Crevasse
  • Cuesta
  • Dirt cone
  • Esker
  • Flyggberg
  • Gulch
  • Gully
  • Hanging valley
  • Hill
  • Hogback
  • Kame
  • Kettle
  • Lavaka
  • Moraine
  • Mountain pass
  • Ravine
  • Ridge
  • Rock shelter
  • Sandur
  • Scree
  • Strath

8.1 Volcanic Landforms

Volcanic landforms are created by a volcanic eruption. In a spectacular show of lava and ash, they may appear both under and above water. These horrible tragedies typically result in widespread damage, but they also spawn new landforms and even whole new islands where people dwell.

Featured Volcanic Landforms


When land collapses following a volcanic eruption, a caldera forms. The volcano’s mouth might even crumble as a result of this.

Crater Lake in Oregon is a great example of a caldera. Mt. Stratovolcano Mazama erupted with a tremendous boom, altering the entire topography. The caldera, which is now a beautiful lake in the heart of a beloved National Park, formed when the volcano’s mouth collapsed.

8.1.2 GEYSER

Landforms such as geysers, which are active, are amazing. Water eruptions that emerge from a deep hole in the earth are what they are called. Water and steam will shoot through the aperture into the air at certain times.

The eruption can sometimes be just a few inches of billowing water. At other times, the geyser will astonish onlookers by shooting water into the air dozens of feet. These bigger and more consistent geysers are usually tourist attractions for the most part.

The Beehive Geyser in Wyoming, Old Faithful in Yosemite National Park, the Bolshoi Geyser in Russia, and the Diamond Geyser in New Zealand are some of the geysers that are worth a visit. Because of the continuing volcanic activity beneath Wyoming, it is dotted with geysers.


A huge area mostly flat and covered with lava flows is known as a lava plain, or lava field. It’s nearly all lava that’s fluid to quite an extent. They may travel tens or even hundreds of kilometers.

In an area with active volcanic activity near the earth’s crust, but not enough pressure to cause it to erupt, lava plains are common. There are a lot of lava plains across the globe, to say the least. The Reykjanes Peninsula in Iceland, for example, is mostly a wasteland of lava fields, as is the Boring Lava Field in the United States.


It’s impossible to talk about volcanic landforms without discussing the volcano. Volcanoes come in all shapes and sizes, from the belching monsters they used to be to the dormant mountains.

Submarine volcanoes erupting on a regular basis without our knowledge. As they continue to expel lava, they may gradually build up islands. A major portion of the globe might be affected by a supervolcano.

These supervolcanoes might blanket half the globe with ash, while also scorching a large area of land. For years, Yellowstone has been a supervolcano that has been edging closer to an eruption.

Six active supervolcanoes have been identified in the world so far. Supervolcanoes have been known to cause widespread devastation by causing explosions in the past. Mount Vesuvius’ explosion in AD 79 is a good example of this.

8.1.5 Other Types of Volcanic Landforms

  • Complex volcano
  • Crater lake
  • Cryovolcano
  • Guyot
  • Lava
  • Lava dome
  • Lava spine
  • Maar
  • Malpais
  • Mud volcano
  • Pit crater
  • Rootless cone
  • Sand volcano
  • Seamount
  • Shield volcano
  • Stratovolcano
  • Subglacial mound
  • Submarine volcano
  • Tuya
  • Vent
  • Volcanic arc
  • Volcanic dam
  • Volcanic field
  • Volcanic island
  • Volcanic plateau
  • Volcanic plug

Interesting Facts about Landforms

1|Technically, water bodies are considered landforms.

Most people assume that a landform must be on land to be called a landform because the word “land.” That isn’t always the case. Landforms include oceans, rivers, and lakes. They may be water bodies, but the land formations them.

2|Landforms play an influential role in weather conditions.

Landforms serve a purpose, other than being attractive or intriguing. Their influence on the climate of each region of the globe is significant. The most noticeable changes are influenced by mountain ranges and water bodies. Mountain ranges act as barriers to winds and storms that travel around the globe. As a result, one side of a range may be covered in lush vegetation while the other is covered in sand.

3|Landforms are only temporary.

Landforms are all only temporary, despite the fact that they may have been around for thousands of years. Our planet used to look a lot different millenia ago. Our planet will most likely continue to change as volcanoes erupt and tectonic plates shift. The mountains might one day return to the ground.

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