ICG2022-1

General and Historic Geomorphology
Conveners: Augusto Pérez-Alberti, André Ozer, Piotr Migon

We are at a time in history when scientific paradigms are changing. The objectives of the investigation change, as well as its methods and techniques. An important aspect of the historical geomorphological analysis was always to promote the idea of the importance of times and rhythms affecting the different spaces. It is to say that erosive rhythms change over time: forms are modified differentially based on its structural characteristics and geomorphological dynamics; there are forms that change very quickly in short periods of time; others change over long periods, so the relief is always subject to short and long-term modifications, being visible anywhere in the world. The holistic vision must be associated with the idea of changes, although not all of them are perceptible on a human scale. Another fundamental issue that cannot be overlooked regards the fact that in nature there are differentiated balances: edaphogenesis/morphogenesis; stability/instability; fossilization/exhumation; inherited forms/current forms. On the other hand, based on the “principle of current causes”, geomorphology will quickly diversify and extend from temperate to other climatic zones (glacial, periglacial, desert, tropical, etc.) but also to various lithologies (e.g. karst) or geological influences (neotectonic or volcanism), without forgetting specific geomorphologies (fluvial, coastal, submarine, etc.). In addition, to understand the inherited forms, the studied areas were recontextualized in the ancient climates of the Tertiary and Quaternary. Gradually, the current evolution of the studied forms will move towards applied and dynamic geomorphology (landslides, erosions, etc.) and will become a major component of land use planning. Today, we realize that Human Being is both actor and victim of climate change and geomorphological changes, sometimes profound. In the so-called Anthropocene era, geomorphology must be used to protect natural landscapes, to highlight geomorphosites, but above all to manage the territory. So, the expression of general geomorphology is therefore to analyse the past and the present; the great forms of relief and detail; to know how terrestrial or marine ecosystems work at different time and space scales, always keeping in mind that knowledge of the past allows knowing the present and planning the future in a rational way.