Introduction

The Research Group of Geomorphology and Geodynamics focuses on the Quaternary landscape evolution in Central Europe and on geomorphological and geodynamic processes related to natural hazards. Landform evolution reflects the interplay between neotectonic and climatic processes. Morphotectonic landscape changes have fundamental influences on climate, the biosphere, and erosion and accumulation processes. Palaeoelevation histories of relief investigated by radiometric datings, thermochronology and geochemical exhumation methods can be interpreted as complex tests of knowledge of the Earth´s surface evolution. One of the consequences of the application of mathematical processes and physical principles in the development of geomorphology is the stress put upon the significance of space and time scales in research and modelling of very various geomorphological processes and phenomena.

The use of Geographic Information Systems (GIS), remote sensing and photogrammetry allows the preparation of integrated geomorphological databases with fully digital procedures and data resources. This will involve a development of technologies for common use of terrestrial and satellite methods of monitoring. The implementation of new methods of monitoring in geomorphology allows research on the changes through time in the characteristic features of relief-forming processes. Geomorphology is in this way connected with regional and global geodynamics, including the creation of unified reference frames, and development of methods for monitoring of time changes in Earth orientation parameters, gravity field, neotectonic evolution and the structure of the Earth. These advances have enabled a new approach to studying and modeling of landscape evolution.

Main research topics of the Research Group of Geomorphology and Geodynamics are explored in cooperation with colleagues from many research departments and institutions in the Czech Republic, especially from the Research Centre for Earth Dynamics (Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic, Czech Technical University and Research Institute of Geodesy, Topography and Cartography), Department of Ecology and Environmental Sciences and Department of Geography of the Faculty of Science, Palacký University in Olomouc, Department of Archaelogy of the University of West Bohemia in Pilsen, Czech Geological Survey and Czech Hydrometeorological Institute. International cooperation in topical activities of the Research Group of Geomorphology and Geodynamics are listed below. Selected research results are briefly summarized in two main categories: A) Central European landform evolution in the late Cainozoic, and B) Geomorphological and geodynamic processes related to natural hazards.