3 Geomorphic Cycles of Slope Development-Davis, Penck and King YouTube Lecture Handouts

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Watch Video Lecture on YouTube: 3 Geomorphic Cycles of Slope Development - Davis, Penck and King

3 Geomorphic Cycles of Slope Development - Davis, Penck and King

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Major Theories

  • Peneplanation or Slope Decline theory of W.M. Davis

  • Pendiplanation or Slope Replacement Theory of W. Penck

  • Pedimentation or Parallel Retreat Theory of L.C. King


Erosion only after upliftment is completed

Trio of Davis

Image of Trio of Davis

Image of Trio of Davis

Image of Geographical Cycle of Davis

Image of Geographical Cycle of Davis

Table of Cycle of Davis
Table of Cycle of Davis





Cycle of Drainage Development

Major Rivers

Rivers with Floods

Flood Plains

Cycle of Slope Development

Convex Slope

Vertical Downcut

Lateral Erosion

Flatter Slope

Cycle of Landscape Development

V-Shaped Valley

Lateral Development

Low Surface & Low Gradient

Strengths & Weaknesses of Davis Model

Revolutionary Ideas by Davis

  • Landscape development

  • Development of slope

  • Development of river & drainage profiles

  • Effects of rock type on different stages

  • Integrating the effect of climatic accidents on denudation forces


  • Shape of landforms is function of ratio of velocity of endogenous movement to intensity of erosion

Premises by Penck

  • Surface is result of competition b/w endogenetic and exogenetic forces

  • Shape & Intensity depend on rate of incision & removal of debris

  • Explain tectonic movement and cause – By crust information

  • Upliftment & erosion are co-existent

Stages by Penck

Waxing Or Accelerating Stage (Aufsteigende)

Uniform Development Stage (Gleichformige)

Waning Or Development Stage (Absteigende)

Table of Davis Cycle of Erosion and Penk Cycle of Erosion
Table of Davis Cycle of Erosion And Penk Cycle of Erosion

Davis Cycle of Erosion

Penck Cycle of Erosion

Erosion starts when upliftment stops

Erosion & upliftment go together; initial stages have rapid upliftment

Long crustal stability after initial uplift

Continuous upliftment which stops very late in the cycle

Compared to erosion, upliftment happens in very small period

Span of upliftment is more or less same as that of erosion

Structure, time & process affect the erosion

Erosion depends on rate of upliftment, & degradation

Time dependent

Time independent

Start on many different structural units

Starts on convex lowland known as primarrumpf

Peniplain is the end product

Endrumpf is the end product

Down wasting of slopes

Backwashing of slopes

Definite landform sequence

Landform sequence depends on rate & characteristics of upliftment & erosion

Backward Looking Theory

Forward Looking Theory

King’S Theory

  • Parallel retreat of scarps

  • Resulting constraint on down wearing of scarp surface

  • Uplift due to denudational unloading

Slope Profile by King

  • Waxing Slope (Crest) – Convex, More Transportation due to high slope

  • Free Face (Scarp) - bedrock outcrop

  • Debris Slope (Constant Slope) – retreats with free face

  • Waning Slope (Pediment) – Concave, Sheet wash

Image of Davis Cyle of Erosion

Image of Davis Cyle of Erosion

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