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    STUDIA GEOGRAPHIA - Issue no. 1 / 2002  

Authors:  I. MAC.
  Abstract:  Environmental Geomorphology - Methodological Approach. The scientific inovations determined by implicit and explicit factors open not only new prospects of investigation for the scientific disciplines but they also offer opportunities of interdisciplinary cooperation. A good example for that is the geographical knowledge, even if it is relatively recent, that is diversified in different branches: some of them have already became classic (Tectonic Geomorphology, Genetic Geomorphology); the others are still being thoroughly studied (Climatic Geomorphology, Climatomorphology, Dynamic Geomorphology). At the same time geomorphology has enlarged its possibilities of application (Applied Geomorphology, Engineer Geomorphology) as well as the interdisciplinary ones. As far as the latter are concerned, Enviromental Geomorphology is relevant. The researches in this field has become part of the complex studies about environment. Thus, without taking into account the genesis, dinamic state, dimension and configuration, the relief related to life and to the activities of the biotic and anthropic elements of the Superior Terrestrial Cover represents: the physical support of the development of life on Earth; the resource for biocenosys, society and vital and production activities; generator of hazards of different magnitudes; generator of risks with differents danger degrees; support for territorial planning. At the same time, the relief as a product of the geographical systems is submitted to the environmental impact caused by physical, biotic and social processes, undergoing changes of content and form. The impact evaluation involves: the stabilization of the geomorphological sensitivity; the evaluation of the threshold of pressure and stress; the discovery of the direction in which the geomorphological processes evolve (constructive, destructive or conservative); the establishing of the moments of changes; the identification of aspects from the point of view of the content, space and duratioon. In addition to the classic terminology, the studies of environmental geomorphology also uses new concepts and words such as: fragility, vulnerability, environmental sensitivity, hazard, risk, disaster, geomorphological catastrophe. Thus, it is obvious that Environmental Geomorphology enjoys interdisciplinary cooperation and its approaches try to find solutions for the problems that have negative effects on the state of geographical systems.  
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