Geomorphology has not developed as substantially as Gilbert forecast in 1890. Physiography concentrated on problems of erosion, almost to the exclusion of other parts of the discipline, and developed a terminology which became elaborated beyond usefulness. Disregard of the third dimension and inadequate geophysical backgrounds led to unrealistic results by physiographers.

This address is concerned primarily with alluvial morphology, a field neglected or commonly misinterpreted by physiographers. Flood-plain deposits, deltas, and deltaic plains are considered with reference to the sedimentary, structural, and morphological processes under which they originated, as examples to illustrate the value of a more geological geomorphology.

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