Anthropogenic Topography

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Anthropogenic Topography

 

topography altered or created by human activities. Anthropogenic topographic forms first appeared when hunting tribes began to dig pits for trapping wild animals, caves, and so forth. The emergence of livestock economy caused the appearance of areas of erosion and sand winnowing resulting from the trampling of pastures. The greatest propagation of anthropogenic topography occurred with the development of agriculture. There are both naturally occurring and deliberately created anthropogenic topographies. The elements of the former are predominantly the defacing of the landscape by litter which forms as the result of improper farming, forestry, mining, construction, and road building. This includes ravines, cones of debris, sandbars, cave-ins, and shifting sands. In a number of countries, the development of these forms has fundamentally altered the appearance of the region, worsened the water regime, reduced the areas of arable lands and lowered their fertility. The conscious transformation of the relief is carried out through land improvement (terracing and banking the slopes, building drainage and irrigation networks, planning fields), construction (embankments, ditches, canals, and dams), and so forth. Anthropogenic topography also includes inevitable but harmful forms such as quarries and slag heaps. Anthropogenic topography is part of the anthropogenic landscape.

D. L. ARMAND

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.