Panorama of Sandstone Bluffs and Red Rock Canyon_b

GEOL 333 - Principles of Geomorphology

Every Spring Semester

Dr. Matthew S. Lachniet

UNLV Department of Geosciences


All course content has migrated to UNLV Canvas as of 2019. This site will no longer be updated.


General Course Information

Geomorphology (GEOL 333) is a 4-credit course with laboratory, and an introduction to the common landforms on the Earth's surface. The course is relevant to many disciplines including geology, biology and ecology, engineering, water resources, agronomy, anthropology, archeology, and many others. Landforms are the interface between humans and the Earth - everywhere you are or will be is a landform - and understanding the processes and myriad forms of the Earth's surface provide a sense of place. This course is offered every Spring Semester at UNLV.


This courses satisfied the UNLV general education science requirement.


Learning Outcomes:

By the end of this class, students will have demonstrated proficiency in the following learning outcomes:

1) A competent level of ability to read, interpret, and make topographic maps, and understand coordinate systems and scale

2) A competent level of ability to read and interpret aerial photographs

3) Apply knowledge of physical and chemical weathering processes to interpret landforms

4) Understand the concepts of dynamic equilibrium in geomorphology

5) Identify intrinsic and extrinsic thresholds in geomorphic systems

6) Identify common landforms visually, on topographic maps, and on aerial photographs

7) Discuss the role of tectonics, time, and climate on geomorphology

8) Comprehend and recall an in-depth vocabulary of geomorphic terms

9) Apply critical thinking skills to solve Earth surface problems

10) Understand the concept of recurrence intervals in climate and geomorphology

11) Link an understanding of geomorphic processes to landforms


Pre-requisites: Geology 101 with lab, or equivalent. (Previous mineralogy and optical mineralogy courses are no longer pre-requisites)


Book information.

Lab manual: Will be provided as print-outs, PDF and other files (no charge) through this website.