Collaborative Landforms Gallery

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This gallery is being built collaboratively, images from Britain and Ireland have been provided to illustrate various landforms extracted from a list of Wikipedia Articles with category LandformsExternal link. Contents shown are for this page; there is a full list on first pageExternal link


In Scottish geographyExternal link, a Carse (the modern form of older ScotsExternal link kerse) is an area of low-lying, typically alluvialExternal link and fertile land occupying certain Scottish river valleys, such as that of the River ForthExternal link.
Wikipedia pageExternal link

NY0286 : Deer at Carse of Ae by Iain Thompson NH8356 : Carse of Delnies, Inverness-shire by Claire Pegrum NH7158 : Farmland at Carse of Raddery by Alan Reid NO3134 : Muirloch by Richard Webb NO2429 : Carse of Gowrie towards Dundee by Karen Vernon NN7922 : Trees beside the old Lawers West Drive by Dr Richard Murray

Chalk heath

Chalk heath is a rare habitat, in the Temperate grasslands, savannas, and shrublandsExternal link biomeExternal link, formed of a paradoxical mixture of shallow-rooted calcifugeExternal link ("calcium-hating") and deeper-rooted calcicoleExternal link ("calcium-loving") plants, growing on a thin layer of acidicExternal link soil over an alkalineExternal link substrate. Chalk heath is intermediate between two much more widespread habitats, chalk grasslandExternal link and heathlandExternal link.
Wikipedia pageExternal link

Lullington Heath National Nature ReserveExternal link.
Natural England describe it: "The slightly acid, fine soil has allowed the development of an intimately mixed chalk and heath plant community. Acid loving heathers and tormentil grow among plants such as thyme, salad burnet and dropwort, which have adapted to the chalk."
TQ5401 : Lullington Heath by Simon Carey TQ5401 : Lullington Heath, East Sussex - can you see the fox? by Kevin Gordon TQ5401 : Lullington Heath by Ian Cunliffe TQ5401 : Lullington Heath - view to the south-west by Ian Cunliffe TQ5401 : Exmoor ponies on Lullington Heath by Peter Barr TQ5401 : Foredown Hill, Lullington Heath, near Jevington, East Sussex by Kevin Gordon TQ5401 : Lullington Heath National Nature Reserve by Robin Webster TQ5401 : Track through Lullington Heath Nature Reserve by Oast House Archive TQ5401 : Lullington Heath - clearing work in progress by Ian Cunliffe TQ5401 : Lullington Heath - a solitary tree by Ian Cunliffe TQ5401 : Footpath into Lullington Heath, East Sussex by Kevin Gordon TQ5401 : horses on Lullington Heath by Ian Cunliffe TQ5401 : Footpath north of Lullington Heath, towards Jevington, East Sussex by Kevin Gordon TQ5401 : View along bridleway 6d in the parish of Cuckmere Valley by Dave Spicer TQ5401 : Cattle on Lullington Heath by Ian Cunliffe
Headley Heath owned by the National TrustExternal link, a Site of Special Scientific Interest. Also see the Friends of Headley HeathExternal link. Natural EnglandExternal link say: "Chalk heath occurs on a small area of Headley Heath where the special conditions allow both acid and lime-loving plants to grow side by side."
TQ2053 : Goodman's Furze by Derek Harper TQ2053 : Headley Heath by Derek Harper TQ2053 : Headley Heath by Colin Smith TQ1953 : Headley Heath, North Downs by Colin Smith TQ2053 : Headley Heath: Purley Plain by Hugh Craddock TQ1953 : Headley Heath: Dean Wood Heath by Hugh Craddock TQ1953 : Headley Heath by Colin Smith

Chute (gravity)

As a landform a chute, also known as a race, flume, or river canyon, is a steep-sided passage through which water flows rapidly; examples below are of this type of chute. A waterfall, cascade, rapid, cataract, gorge, force, ess, eas, or linn is also this type of chute. A chute can also be a vertical or inclined planeExternal link, channel, or passage through which objects are moved by means of gravityExternal link.
Wikipedia pageExternal link

NN2837 : Chicken Chute on the Orchy by Andy Waddington NN8487 : Water chute on Allt Lorgaidh above Glen Feshie, Aviemore by ian shiell NN8487 : Water chute on Allt Lorgaidh above Glen Feshie, Aviemore by ian shiell NT9517 : Linhope Spout by Andrew Curtis NY8738 : The River Wear near Ireshopeburn by Uncredited SH5759 : Rhaeadr Llanberis Waterfall  c1976 by Tom Morrison


A col in the geographic (as opposed to meteorological) sense is a geomorphologicalExternal link term referring to the lowest point on a mountain ridge between two peaks. It may also be called a saddle, although that usually has a wider meaning and may contain a mountain passExternal link. The height of a summit above its highest col is effectively a measure of a mountain's prominenceExternal link, an important measure of the independence of its summit. Cols lie on the line of the watershedExternal link between two mountainsExternal link, often on a prominent ridge or arêteExternal link.
Wikipedia pageExternal link

NY2006 : Mickledore and Scafell Crag by K  A Satellite view of colExternal link
NY2528 : Carl Side Col by Philip Halling NY3612 : Deepdale Hause by Andrew Smith
NS9114 : On the Saddle between Glen Ea's Hill and Dun Law by Chris HeatonExample of saddle, with map to show contours. The summit of Dun Law is just off the bottom right of the map, the saddle is between that and Glen Ea's Hill.
1:50,000 Modern Day Landranger(TM) Map © Crown Copyright
1:50,000 Modern Day Landranger(TM) Map © Crown Copyright


A couloir (a FrenchExternal link word meaning "passage" or "corridor"), is a narrow gullyExternal link with a steep gradient in a mountainous terrain.
Wikipedia pageExternal link

NN1671 : The cliffs of the north face of Ben Nevis by Peter NN1671 : Crags and Cornices by K  A NY3710 : Dove Crag by Mick Garratt NH9902 : Red Gully by Richard Webb NH9902 : A climber nears the top of Aladdin's Couloir by John Fielding NH9902 : The top of Aladdin's Couloir by John Fielding NH9903 : Coire an t-Sneachda by John Fielding NN2345 : Summit ridge of Stob Gabhar by Derek Brown

Cyclopean Stairs

Cyclopean stairs form as a result of glacial erosion. The term refers to the longitudinal profile of a glaciated valley that has several consecutive hanging valleysExternal link.
Wikipedia pageExternal link
We may not have good examples in Britain and Ireland.

NG8145 : Coire na Poite from the lochan by Jim BartonTerraces of Torridonian sandstone - certainly "stairs" but not the hanging valleys of the Wikipedia definition.

SH6155 : Hanging valley above Llyn Glas with Y Grib Goch in the background by Eric Jones On Snowdon there are some series of hanging valleys. Here there is a hanging valley above Llyn Glas, which is itself in a hanging valley, and Afon Las then falls steeply down to a further valley - and finally into the Llanberis Pass.

Fault scarp

A fault scarp is the topographicExternal link expression of faultingExternal link attributed to the displacement of the land surface by movement along faults. They are exhibited either by differential movement and subsequent erosionExternal link along an old inactive geologic faultExternal link (a sort of old rupture), or by a movement on a recent active fault. Fault scarps often contain highly fractured rock of both hard and weak consistency. In many cases, bluffs form from the upthrown block and can be very steep. The height of the scarp formation is equal to the vertical displacement along the fault. Active scarps are usually formed by tectonicExternal link displacement, e.g. when an earthquakeExternal link changes the elevation of the ground, and can be caused by any type of fault, including strike-slip faultsExternal link, whose motion is primarily horizontal. This movement is usually episodic, with the height of the bluffs being the result of multiple movements over time. Displacement of around 5 to 10 meters per tectonic event is common.
Wikipedia pageExternal link
Yorkshire - Dent FaultExternal link - western edges of the Yorkshire Dales
SD7398 : Harter Fell and the corner of the enclosure by Karl and Ali SD6886 : Close to the Dent Fault on Stone Rigg by Karl and Ali
Yorkshire - [LinkExternal link]Craven Fault[/url]
SD7965 : Giggleswick Scar by Gordon Hatton SD9163 : Cross Field Knotts by John Illingworth SD8264 : Hillside above Settle and the Langcliffe mills by Trevor Rickard
Dumfries and Galloway - North Solway Fault
NX8552 : Carboniferous Strata near the North Solway Fault by Anne Burgess NX8552 : View along the Solway Firth coast from Castlehill Point by Eileen Henderson
Shetlands, Ollaberry Fault
HU3781 : Ollaberry Fault by peter knudssen
Shetlands, Ronas Fault
HU2683 : Stack of Sumra from Bratta Beck by Tim Harrison


A fellfield or fell field comprises the environment of a slope, usually alpineExternal link or tundraExternal link, where the dynamics of frostExternal link (freeze and thaw cycles) and of windExternal link give rise to characteristic plant forms in screeExternal link interstices.
Wikipedia pageExternal link
Shetland Islands - Keen of Hamar National Nature ReserveExternal link
HP6410 : North side of the Keen of Hamar by Mike Pennington HP6513 : Slopes of the Hill of Clibberswick by Mike Pennington


A fen is one of the four main types of wetlandExternal link, and is usually fed by mineral-rich surface water or groundwater. Fens are characterised by their water chemistry, which is neutralExternal link or alkalineExternal link, with relatively high dissolved mineralExternal link levels but few other plant nutrientsExternal link. They are usually dominated by grasses and sedges, and typically have brown mosses in general including Scorpidium or Drepanocladus. Fens frequently have a high diversity of other plant species including carnivorous plants such as PinguiculaExternal link. They may also occur along large lakes and rivers where seasonal changes in water level maintain wet soils with few woody plants. The distribution of individual species of fen plants is often closely connected to water regimes and nutrient concentrations.
Wikipedia pageExternal link

Wicken Fen, an area of preserved Cambridgeshire Fen.
TL5570 : Wicken Fen by Trevor Harris TL5570 : Wicken Fen by Hugh Venables TL5570 : Sedge Fen Drove, Wicken Fen by Rob Noble TL5670 : Wicken Lode by Ajay Tegala TL5670 : Wicken Lode, Wicken Fen by Hugh Venables
TL3586 : Reeds on Round House Drove, Tick Fen, Warboys by Richard Humphrey Reeds
TL2299 : Ditch near the Lake Settlement, Flag Fen by Richard Humphrey TL2298 : Flag Fen Bronze Age village, Peterborough by Richard Humphrey Flag Fen
TL4279 : Reeds - The Ouse Washes at Sutton Gault by Richard Humphrey Ouse Washes, seasonally flooding wet grassland.

Cambridgeshire Fens, drained to form farmland.
TL3899 : Big sky and flat fields - The Fens by Richard Humphrey TF2801 : Potato crop on Upper Knarr Fen south of Thorney by Richard Humphrey TL3382 : Looking towards the edge of the Cambridgeshire Fens by Richard Humphrey TL3899 : Flooded stubble field on White Moor near March by Richard Humphrey TL5579 : The black fens of Ely by Richard Humphrey TL3683 : Gaunt Fen near Chatteris by Richard Humphrey TF3406 : Only the shadows are growing by Richard Humphrey TF3009 : Winter cereal just starting to grow on North Fen by Richard Humphrey TF3502 : Adventurers' Land near Guyhirn by Richard Humphrey TL4176 : A paddy field in The Fens ? by Richard Humphrey TL3988 : Track onto Curf Fen near Chatteris by Richard Humphrey

Gat (landform)

A gat (GermanExternal link: Seegatt, Seegat or diminutive Gatje) is a water channel that is constantly eroded by currents flowing back and forth, such as tidal currents. It is usually a relatively narrow but deep (up to 30 metres) passage between land masses (islands and peninsulas) or shallow bars in an area of mudflatsExternal link, as well as less deep on lagoon coasts, including those without any tidal rangeExternal link. The name comes from the Low GermanExternal link and DutchExternal link word Gat = gap. The word is incorporated into several proper names, which may or may not be true gats, including the KattegatExternal link, Veerse GatExternal link and Fisherman's GatExternal link.
Wikipedia pageExternal link

The term gat is not used in the British Isles (it does not appear in the Concise Oxford English Dictionary). Looking for the nearest equivalents, we find tidal creeks and tidal races.

Tidal creeks
TQ8385 : Channel through the marsh by Roger Jones TQ8397 : Salt Marsh & Mudflats by Roger Jones TL9304 : Channel through the saltings by Roger Jones TF4134 : The Wash coast in winter - Blue creek in the frozen salt marsh by Richard Humphrey TF5825 : Tidal creek in the salt marsh near Ongar Hill by Richard Humphrey TF4034 : The Wash coast in winter - Lawyer's Creek crossing the frozen salt marsh by Richard Humphrey TF4828 : Deep creek in the salt marsh by Richard Humphrey TF5326 : Crossing the "creeky" bridge in The Wash by Richard Humphrey TF5427 : Creeks in The Breast Sand, The Wash by Richard Humphrey TF5026 : Creek in the salt marshes near Sutton Bridge by Richard Humphrey TF4034 : The Wash coast in winter - Tidal creek without a bridge by Richard Humphrey TF4034 : The Wash coast in winter - Tidal creek in the frozen salt marsh by Richard Humphrey

Tidal races
SC1666 : Thousla tidal race by M J Richardson L9431 : Tidal rapids by Jonathan Wilkins NF9381 : Tide race through The Reef by Russel Wills NM6410 : Garbh Eileach from N point of Eileach an Naoimh by ronnie leask SH5737 : Erosion of Traeth Bach mudflats by David Medcalf NF7663 : The tidal channel that separates Eilean Chirceboist by Richard Law

Creative Commons Licence [Some Rights Reserved]   Text © Copyright September 2012, Barry Hunter; licensed for reuse under a Creative Commons Licence.
With contributions by David Hawgood and Stephen Craven. (details)

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