Meaning of Orography

What is Orography:

As orography, it is called the branch of Physical Geography that analyzes, describes and classifies the forms of the terrestrial relief. Likewise, orography can refer to the set of elevations and existing mountains of an area, region or country. The word, as such, is formed from the Greek root ὄρος (óros), which can be translated as ‘mountain’, and the suffix “-graphy”, which means ‘description’.

Orography, in this sense, is a field of study that provides knowledge about the conditions and circumstances of the land relief. Likewise, it is responsible for the cartographic representation of the orography of an area or region, which allows us to visualize and understand its relief when planning infrastructure works, such as roads, railways, bridges or dams.

As such, orography offers very useful information on the characteristics of the soil and subsoil, as well as the water, mineral and agricultural resources that a region has. In this sense, different disciplines, such as agriculture, mining, engineering, hydrography, among others, make use of the knowledge provided by orography.

On the other hand, the orography also affects the climatic conditions of the regions, influencing aspects such as cloudiness, wind speed or the intensity and duration of rainfall.

Orography and hydrography

Orography and hydrography are closely linked. Orography refers to the set of elevations that make up the relief of a region, while hydrography relates to the set of bodies of water existing in a region. The orography, in this sense, determines the flow of the waters, producing the rivers, lakes and lagoons that are observed on the surface, at the same time that the waters affect the erosion processes of the earth's surface, shaping and modifying the layer exterior of the earth, and, in this way, also determining the orography of the place.

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