Acta Geographica Sinica ›› 2017, Vol. 72 ›› Issue (5): 755-775.doi: 10.11821/dlxb201705001

• Research Progress •     Next Articles

Retrospect and perspective of geomorphology researches in China over the past 40 years

Weiming CHENG1,2(), Chenghu ZHOU1, Yuancun SHEN1, Qiangyi LIU1,3   

  1. 1. State Key Laboratory of Resources and Environmental Information System, Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, CAS, Beijing 100101, China
    2. Jiangsu Center for Collaborative Innovation in Geographical Information Resource Development and Application, Nanjing 210023, China
    3. University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
  • Received:2016-12-13 Revised:2017-02-15 Online:2017-05-20 Published:2017-07-13
  • Supported by:
    National Natural Science Foundation of China, No.41471388, No.41171332;Surveying and Mapping Geoinformation Nonprofit Specific Project, No.201512033;Innovation Project of LREIS, No.O88RAA04YA


Geomorphology is one of main branchs of geography. The research achievements and prospects in geomorphology have received considerable attention for a long time. In this paper, we firstly gave a general retrospect of geomorphological research in China over the past 60 years, especially the research progresses in the last 40 years. Based on a summary of experience and a trendency of development, perspectives of geomorphological research direction in the future were provided. It is concluded that the discipline of geomorphology has made great progress in the aspects of geomorphological types, partitions, as well as their subdisciplines such as dynamic geomorphology, tectonic geomorphology, climatic geomorphology, lithological geomorphology, palaeogeomorphology. We believe that persisting in the unity principle between morphological and genetic types would be conductive for the development of traditional landforms and integrated landforms. In addition, five perspectives aim to enhance China's geomorphological research capacity. They are: (1) strengthening the research of basic geomorphology theory and the research of integrated geomorphology to expand the research space; (2) focusing more on the research of geomorphologic structure and geomorphologic function to improve the application ability of geomorphology; (3) constructing a comprehensive resource, environmental, and geomorphologic information system and building a sharing platform to upgrade the intelligent information industry of geomorphology; (4) putting more efforts on the research of coastal geomorphology and marine geomorphology to assist the transformation of China from a maritime country to an ocean power; and (5) cultivating talents and constructing research teams to maintain a sustainable development of China's geomorphological research.

Key words: retrospect, perspective, geomorphology, China