(Article of periodic en Anglais - 2014)

Document title

The composite nature of physical geography : Moving from linkages to integration

Authors(s) and Affiliation(s)

MALANSON G.P. (1) ; SCUDERI L. (2) ; MOSER K.A. (3) ; WILLMOTT C.J. (4) ; RESLER L.M. (5) ; WARNER T.A. (6) ; MEARNS L.O. (7) ;
(1) Univ. of Iowa, Iowa City, ETATS-UNIS
(2) Univ. of New Mexico, ETATS-UNIS
(3) Univ. of Western Ontario, CANADA
(4) Univ. of Delaware, ETATS-UNIS
(5) Virginia Tech., Alexandria, ETATS-UNIS
(6) West Virginia Univ., ETATS-UNIS
(7) National Center for Atmospheric Research, ETATS-UNIS


Physical geography is a composite discipline of interconnected scientific subfields. It is shown that 4 subfields – biogeography, climatology, hydrology, and geomorphology (with foci on the biosphere, atmosphere, hydrosphere, and lithosphere (taken conceptually))– subsume the bulk of the research in physical geography. The field of physical geography seems to go through cycles in the amount of attention paid to integration among these subfields. Integration is better visualized in a tetrahedronal diagram in which each of the 4 subdisciplines occupies a vertex of the regular tetrahedron and the center represents their integration. To begin, the AA. identify historical and recent geographical research for the 6 binary links that define the edges of the tetrahedron. Last, they consider areas where all 4 domains are brought to bear, and discuss how they can improve such linkages. It is shown that human-environment interaction pulls physical geography toward the center of the tetrahedron, and modeling provides a vehicle


Article of periodic

published at : Progress in physical geography / ISSN 0309-1333 / CODEN PPGEEC

Editor : Sage Publications, London - ROYAUME-UNI (1977)

Millesime : 2014, vol. 38, no1 [pp. 3-18]

Bibliographic references : 6 p.

Collation : 2 fig.



INIST-CNRS, Cote INIST : 14648 A

Digital Object Identifier

Go to electronic document thanks to its DOI : doi:10.1177/0309133313516481

Tous droits réservés © Prodig - Bibliographie Géographique Internationale (BGI), 2014
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