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This chapter considers advances in geomorphological modelling from 1965 to 2000, a period that coincides with enormous progress resulting from the digital revolution. The status of computer technology and the discipline of geomorphology leading up to the period covered in this chapter is outlined. The emergence of electronic, digital computers was a significant development in computing history. The invention of the microchip resulted in a generation of mainframe computers that were increasingly efficient and powerful. Throughout the 1960s, universities and research organizations acquired mainframe computers, with time-sharing replacing batch processing. Until the mid-twentieth century, geomorphological research focused on qualitative studies of landscape history. Thereafter, geomorphological research focused on process-based studies over smaller scales. At the time that mainframe computers allowed for complexity in mathematical modelling, geomorphologists began to concentrate on an agenda that did not necessitate their use. Some mathematical models in geomorphology were introduced between 1965 and 1980, although equations were often solved analytically. Despite accessibility to powerful computers in the 1980s, mathematical modelling in geomorphology was not widespread. Mathematical models in geomorphology appeared with increasing frequency in the 1990s. Disciplinary engagement with computationally intensive approaches was strong during this decade, and continued into the twenty-first century.

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