The Make-up of the Earth’s Face – How Does It Work?

The earth’s surface went through enormous large-scale and long-term shaping and re-shaping evolution history that resulted in todays earth’s “face”. In the last million years these shaping and re-shaping processes of the earth’s surface were continuously fueled by dominant erosion processes of natural origin that carved land-areas, holes and trajectories for coastal, surface and groundwater systems, e.g. rivers, lakes, coastal deltas and shores, fjords, water-falls, forests, natural parks, caves and other major geological formations. However, modern man-made interferences are becoming increasingly important, primarily because of increasing activities and processes on the earth’s surface in particular urbanization, mining and global warming. Recent climate changes, for example, are imposing extreme daily and seasonal variations in atmospheric temperature, gradual warming of oceans, seas and surface water systems with feedback impacts on atmospheric, oceanographic and hydrospheric erosion processes. These processes are brought about by the action of more dynamic air and water masses on different scales ranging from micro, local, regional and global scales, e.g. dynamic changes in speed and velocity of wind and water waves, also heating, freezing and de-freezing cycles “expansion and contraction” and geothermal processes.

Erosion is the main source of nutrients supporting the formation of vegetation cover, animal and evolution of bio-diversity and the very origin of natural agricultural production through photo-synthesis and associated biogeochemical, geophysical and geochemical machinery of the functioning and metabolism of global eco-systems. However, modern pollution and waste because of industry, agriculture and household have severe negative impacts of all life forms on the earth’s surface.

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