PICTURING AND DESCRIBING HILLS

Definition: A hill is any moderate size portion of the earth's surface that is noticeably elevated compared to its surroundings. There is no sharp distinction between a hill and a mountain, but hills are generally considered to have a relief of less than a thousand feet.
Describing Hills: Descriptions of hills (and the valleys between hills) are of great interest to geologists because they often provide important clues as to their origin. Significant information to include in descriptions may be obtained from contour maps.
  • Numerical Information.
    • Statements of Relief
    • Statements of Length, Width, Area
    • Statements of Orientation (for linear hills)
    • Statements of Gradient
  • Non-Numerical Information.
    • The great diversity and complexity of hill shapes requires the development of an accepted descriptive vocabulary.


© 2010 David Leveson/Revised by G. Rocha and Michelle O'Dea