Geografie 1988, 93, 116-120

The Significance of Catastrophes for the Evolution of the Landscape Sphere

Jaromír Demek

Katedra geografie a didaktiky geografie, Přírodovědecká fakulta Univerzity Palackého, Leninova 26, 771 46 Olomouc, Czechia

The author discusses the role played by catastrophes in the evolution of the landscape sphere. The study of the landscape sphere is based upon the assumption that all phenomena of past geological times can be explained by the understanding of present geographical processes. This conception states that the present is the key to the past. Geographers believed that changes in the landscape sphere had been gradual, taking place at an equal uniform pace as they are today. Yet it now appears, that past changes in the landscape sphere may have been related to forces and processes which are either no longer in action or that the period of Man's observations has been too short for him to note them. More and more geographers admit now that in the past the landscape sphere was affected by sudden and violent catastrophes which played an important role in its development.