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Rock properties are a crucial control of landform development. The purpose of this chapter is to examine the progress that was made in studying rock properties in general and then to discuss developments in the study of landforms in three main rock types: granite, limestone and sandstone. From the mid-1960s onwards, geomorphology witnessed an increasing concern with the quantification of rock properties and their relationship to landforms and landscape evolution. Japanese geomorphologists led in this endeavour. Studies crossed a range of scales from those of a large size that were susceptible to field measurements to those of small size that involved laboratory studies. Among the basic characteristics of rocks that have been studied are fracturing and jointing, rock mass strength, hardness as determined by the Schmidt Hammer, resistance as determined by laboratory simulations, slaking susceptibility, porosity, water absorption capacity, water content and permeability, and petrological thin-section analyses. The investigation of forms and processes in granite, limestone and sandstone areas has shown the value of combined geological and geographical approaches, and the increasing internationalization of studies.

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