Geomorphologic Mapping Symbols

Symbols for geomorphologic mapping in high mountains for ArcGIS:

The development of digital geomorphologic maps using GIS lacked suitable symbols for geomorphologic landforms and processes. The collection of symbols proposed here changes this situation by providing symbols and colours for geomorphologic maps. The symbols are available as a symbol style for ArcGIS. The symbols base on the legend for high mountain systems established by Kneisel et al. (Kneisel et al. 1998) within the Working Group on High Mountains in Germany. The colour fills proposed correspond to the idea of process domains established within the GMK 25 legend, created by the national geomorphologic mapping research program in Germany in the 1980`s (Barsch & Liedtke 1980). This symbol set has been created for geomorphologic maps at a 1:25000 scale.

In order to preserve the legibility of the map, most of the symbols for processes and landforms have been created as marker (point) symbols. Therefore, landforms are not displayed with filled polygons. However, some landforms e.g. rock glaciers or moraines, as well as morphographic landscape elements are represented by line symbols. The symbol set has been generated in order to produce the geomorphologic map of the Turtmann valley, which is published here: Otto, J.-C. & Dikau, R. (2004):Geomorphologic System Analysis of a High Mountain Valley in the Swiss Alps. In: Zeitschrift für Geomorphologie 48 (3): 323-341 (Download - pdf). The paper included a geomorphological map created in ArcView 3.2 that is avaible here: Download map - pdf (ATTENTION - 23.5 MB)

Terms of Usage:

The symbol set is available for free through this website. I believe in a philosophy of open usage of data and templates. And I assume that when using the templates the authorship is clearly indicated. To find out where the symbols are employed and who uses them, I ask you to register here. The registration is only for my personal use to asses the users of these symbols. Your data will not be spread without your agreement. I am very interested in getting feedback about the usage and experience with the symbols. As this symbol set is in a constant process of enhancement. I would appreciate every contribution of newly created symbols. An extension of this symbol set towards forms and processes of other landscapes, different scales and other legend systems is also possible. In case of giving the symbols to someone else I ask you to inform the new user to contact me first.


Geomorphological Mapping Ressources

British Geomorphological Survey - Geomorphological Techniques:

Chapter 2.6. Geomorphological Mapping

Reference Handbook:

Smith et al. (2011): Geomorphological Mapping - Methods and Applications

Treatise on Geomorphology:

Seijmonsbergen (2013): The Modern Geomorphological Map

Example of geomorphological maps:

Journal of Maps