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William Morris Davis. Historical portrait of the American geographer William Morris Davis (1850- 1934). Davis pioneered the study of geomorphology. This is the science of the origins of geographical features in the landscape. Davis' early career was as a meteorologist in Argentina. He was appointed to a post at Harvard University in 1877. His classic study of the drainage system of the Pennsylvania and New Jersey area in 1889 illustrated his theory of erosion cycles. He proposed that rolling lowlands (peneplains) were the end product of an erosion cycle that began with rivers eroding steep valleys.
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