Describe the Concept of Normal Erosion Cycle Propounded by Davis.

Soil erosion occurs when natural forces such as wind, water, and gravity disrupt the structure of the soil, causing soil particles to become loose and move away from each other. As a result, the soil can be carried away by water or wind, which is known as erosion.

Various factors can cause erosion, including rainwater, wind, ice melt, animals burrowing through the ground, water flowing over a slope or hillside, or even people walking on grassland or farmland without tilling it first. Erosion is a natural process that occurs in all ecosystems.

It’s important to care about erosion because it can cause damage to the environment and infrastructure such as roads and buildings. Erosion also affects our quality of life by destroying natural habitats and leaving behind land that isn’t suitable for farming or building homes.


Davis Erosion Cycle

In 1899, Mr. Davis explained the erosion cycle and stated that “the period by which a raised landmass is eroded by the process of erosion and becomes a shapeless plane turns into a field.” Davis created a cyclical method of landform development based on the historical environment and confirmed that process, structure, and stage have a significant impact on landform formation and development.

Davis’s Near Equilibrium:

(i) Structure – By structure, it is meant the geo-elemental composition of the entire earth’s surface. Therefore, creative landforms are formed with the help of various elements and minerals. Rocks, high mountain ranges, plateaus, and plains are the result of physical and chemical reactions of structural elements.

(ii) Process – The method by which there are different conditions for bringing about a change in the basic shape of a land area. The importance of structure for landforms is more than that of process. Therefore, the order in which the process works in any region, and the development of visible land takes place in that region. For example, flood plains are formed by rivers, and U-shaped valleys are formed by glaciers. Different landforms created by different factors have different speeds in the state of the process, such as erosion by wind, weathering by the river, created by waves, snow-affected, etc.

(iii) Stage – The structure of a topographical form is called a state in whatever conditions and time it is achieved according to the effect of the process. That is, the limit of doing work according to the time of the process gives a sense of the state. There are generally three stages: youth, maturity, and old age. Apart from these, scholars have also considered some other stages. The meaning of the word stage is called the process involved in the development of landforms.

Demonstration of the Geographical Cycle by the Graph – Mr. Davis has tried to explain it clearly by looking at the graph of the geographical cycle. In this figure, two curves, the upper curve, and the lower curve are given. A vertical line, AB, shows the height of the site segment, and a horizontal line, CC, shows time. The river is taken as a triad.

The AB and SAD lines represent the initial average relief and the final maximum relief, respectively. The AC line showing the sea level is the base level of erosion. Now, this cycle is divided into three parts. In the first stage, the land area is only uplifting. In the second and third stages, the self-segment gets degraded through erosion. The first stage (the stage of uplift in the land block) cannot be included in the regeneration, and in the remaining two stages, the cycle passes through youth and adulthood, respectively.

Criticism of Davis’s View

  1. Erosion starts as soon as uplift starts. Therefore, Davis’s statement that uplift is followed by erosion is wrong.
  2. Davis called the process of regeneration sudden, whereas uplift takes place over a long time.
  3. Davis wrongly stated that any site segment remains in a stable state for a long time after the uplift is complete.
  4. The dynamic equilibrium theory of Hack, Stunler, and Schorley has proved Davis’s view wrong.
  5. German scholars have called the cycle nomenclature erroneous.
  6. Mr. Omal has pointed out that the main drawback of Davis’s erosion cycle is that it is excessively simple.

According to the above opinions, in the present scientific era, Davis’s opinion has been proven wrong. But still, Davis’ cyclical concept of that time remains an immortal treasure in geography.

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