Outline of Italy's Geomorphology

Carlo Bartolini

The general setting of the Italian territory is illustrated by means of a DEM, a map of relief types and a map of local relief analyzed at the 100 km2 grid scale.

Beside recent tectonic activity, geologically controlled relief forms result from regional uplift, a prerequisite of lithostructural landforms. In order to outline this prompter of morphogenesis as to the Italian region, a brief outlook on present day rock and surface uplift rates both in the Alps and in the Apennines follows.

The present uplift and denudation rates cope at large with the Alps relief. This is in line with the circumstance that the uplift pattern resembles that of apatite fission track age distribution, which would suggest long-term stability of the uplift process at the Ma timescale. Rates of denudation worked out with various methods in Northern and Central Apennines over timescales ranging from 10 to 106 years range from 0.2 to 0.5 mm/y.

Lithostructural and volcanic features are shown by means of a map prepared on purpose. The same applies to landforms due to geomorphic processes. A description of Italy main geomorphic units is also included.