William Morris Davis, the ‘Dad of American Geography’

In the late 1800s, U.S. geographer as well as Harvard teacher William Morris Davis developed his “cycle of erosion” theory, holding that attributes like valleys and also levels were shaped by physical forces such as water. His theory was groundbreaking however not completely accurate. Still, the suggestion stimulated the contemporary scientific research of geomorphology, or the research of Earth’s landforms.

In some cases called “the papa of American geography,” Davis highly thought that location should be shown not only at the university degree yet in elementary school and high school too. He also showed a number of the crucial geographers that followed him, consisting of Ellsworth Huntington, who studied the connection in between environment and human being.

At a time when individuals mainly believed that landforms like mountains as well as valleys had actually been produced by the biblical terrific flood, Davis was among a few individuals who assumed other pressures were at work. So he concentrated his research on exactly how rivers produced landforms. He called his theory the “geographical cycle,” and also it basically went like this:

* First, mountains are “uplifted,” or pushed upwards by a geological force.

* Then, in a phase he called “youth,” water streaming through the landscape takes sharp, high valleys.

* In the “maturation” stage, the valleys become wider and also smoother as time passes.

* The hills gradually turn into hills as well as flatten out in the “old age” stage, eventually leaving just a level surface, or “peneplain,” which Davis called the “base level.”

* Lastly, “restoration” happens: An additional uplift of hills takes place, and the cycle starts once more.

Despite its problems– for instance, disintegration likewise takes place throughout the “uplift” period when hills are forming– Davis’s concept is still useful as a fundamental explanation for exactly how streams establish.

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