terrain n : a piece of ground having specific characteristics or military potential; "they decided to attack across the rocky terrain"
- Rhymes: -eɪn
Nounfr-noun m terrain
Terrain, or relief, is the third or vertical dimension of land surface. When relief is described underwater, the term bathymetry is used. Topography has recently become an additional synonym, though in many parts of the world it retains its original more general meaning of description of place.
Terrain is used as a general term in physical geography, referring to the lie of the land. This is usually expressed in terms of the elevation, slope, and orientation of terrain features. Terrain affects surface water flow and distribution. Over a large area, it can affect weather and climate patterns.
Importance of terrainThe understanding of terrain is critical for a number of reasons.
- The terrain of a region largely determines its suitability for human settlement: flatter, alluvial plains tend to be better farming soils than steeper, rockier uplands.
- In terms of environmental quality, agriculture, and hydrology, understanding the terrain of an area enables the understanding of watershed boundaries, drainage characteristics, water movement, and impacts on water quality. Complex arrays of relief data are used as input parameters for hydrology transport models (such as the SWMM or DSSAM Models) to allow prediction of river water quality.
GeomorphologyGeomorphology is in large part the study of the formation of terrain or topography. Terrain is formed by intersecting processes:
Tectonic processes such as orogenies cause land to be elevated, and erosional (and weathering) processes cause land to be worn away to lower elevations.
Land surface parameters are quantitative measures of various morphometric properties of a surface. The most common examples are used to derive slope or aspect of a terrain or curvatures at each location. These measures can also be used to derive hydrological parameters that reflect flow/erosion processes. Climatic parameters are based on the modelling of solar radiation or air flow.
Land surface objects or landforms are definite physical objects (lines, points, areas) that differ from the surrounding objects. The most typical examples are lines of watersheds, stream patterns, ridges, break-lines, pools, borders of specific landforms etc.
terrain in Asturian: Relieve terrestre
terrain in German: Relief (Geologie)
terrain in Spanish: Relieve terrestre
terrain in Esperanto: Tereno
terrain in Galician: Relevo terrestre
terrain in Georgian: რელიეფი
terrain in Lithuanian: Reljefas
terrain in Hungarian: Domborzat
terrain in Polish: Rzeźba terenu
terrain in Portuguese: Relevo (geografia)
terrain in Simple English: Terrain
terrain in Swedish: Terräng
terrain in Ukrainian: Рельєф географічний
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