Journal of Geographical Sciences ›› 2017, Vol. 27 ›› Issue (1): 109-128.doi: 10.1007/s11442-017-1367-7

• Orginal Article • Previous Articles    

A review on anthropogenic geomorphology

Jialin LI1,2(), Lei YANG1, Ruiliang PU3, Yongchao LIU1   

  1. 1. Department of Geography & Spatial Information Technology, Ningbo University, Ningbo 315211, Zhejiang, China;
    2. Research Center for Marine Culture and Economy, Zhejiang Province, Ningbo 315211, Zhejiang, China
    3. School of Geosciences, University of South Florida, Tampa, FL 33620, USA
  • Received:2016-03-27 Accepted:2016-04-20 Online:2017-02-10 Published:2017-02-10
  • About author:

    Author: Li Jialin (1973-), Professor, specialized in physical geography and coastal geomorphology. E-mail:

  • Supported by:
    National Natural Science Foundation of China, No.41471004, No.41171073


With the continuous development of man’s ability to reshape nature, human activities have become the third geomorphologic agent in the modern geomorphological process. Man-made landform is a landform unit characterized by human activities and is a result of synergizing human and nature geomorphologic agents under the physical geographical background. This article provides an overview on the major progresses in research on anthropogenic geomorphology from aspects like the origin of anthropogenic geomorphology, man-made landform agents and classification, man-made landform evolution and its influencing mechanism, map presentation of man-made landform, and environmental impact of man-made landforms. In addition, in the article, the future development of anthropogenic geomorphology is forecasted. It is pointed out that future studies on anthropogenic geomorphology should pay more attention to the following directions: construction of discipline system of anthropogenic geomorphology, material composition and morphological features of man-made landforms, spatial expansion process and development laws of man-made landforms, regional disparity and accumulative environmental effects of man-made landforms, and environmental management on man-made landforms and comparative analyses of relevant international management policies.

Key words: anthropogenic geomorphology, the third geomorphologic agent, man-made landform evolution, urban anthropogenic geomorphology, man-made landform environmental management