continental landform

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continental landform

any conspicuous topographic feature on the largest land areas of the Earth. Familiar examples are mountains (including volcanic cones), plateaus, and valleys. (The term landform also can be applied to related features that occur on the floor of the Earth's ocean basins, as, for example, seamounts, mid-oceanic ridges, and submarine canyons.) Such structures are rendered unique by the tectonic mechanisms that generate them and by the climatically controlled denudational systems that modify them through time. The resulting topographic features tend to reflect both the tectonic and the denudational processes involved.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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