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Definition: peneplain or peneplane from The Penguin English Dictionary

an almost flat land surface produced by erosion [Latin paene, pene almost + plain 2 or plane 1].

Summary Article: peneplain
from Encyclopedia of Environmental Change

A planation surface of gentle relief formed through long-term denudation. The term is associated in particular with the davisian cycle of erosion concept in which it was viewed as the final stage of subaerial denudation in the absence of a change of base level. Monadnocks are residual hills that rise above a peneplain and hence have survived peneplanation. Their existence is still disputed, particularly on the grounds that tectonic uplift, climatic change and landscape dissection interrupts any long-term tendency to planation.


[See also denudation chronology, erosion surface, grade concept, slope decline, slope evolution models]

  • Johansson, M (1999) Analysis of digital elevation data for palaeosurfaces in south-western Sweden. Geomorphology 26: 279-295.
  • Ollier, CD (1991) Ancient landforms. London: Belhaven.
  • Phillips, JD (2002) Erosion, isostatic response, and the missing peneplains. Geomorphology 45: 225-241.
  • Twidale, CR (1983) Pediments, peneplains and ultiplains. Revue de Géomorphologie Dynamique 32: 1-35.
António J.D. Ferreira
Universidade de Aveiro
John A. Matthews
Swansea University
© by SAGE Publications Ltd.

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