Landscape comprises the visible features of an area of land, including physical elements such as landforms, abstract elements like lighting and weather conditions, and human elements like human activity and the built environment. Geographic and topographic features of landforms relate to the study of Earth and its lands features, and phenomena, as well as the three-dimensional aspect of the Earth's (or other planets') surface and their moons.
Landforms can show characteristic physical attributes such as elevation, slope, orientation, stratification, rock exposure, and soil type. Other physical features include intuitive elements such as berms, mounds, hills, ridges, cliffs, valleys, rivers, peninsulas and numerous other structural and size-scaled elements including various kinds of inland and oceanic waterbodies and sub-surface features.
The topography of a landscape refers to the surface shapes and features (the terrain) of the Earth's surface as well as those of planets, moons, and asteroids.
A number of factors, ranging from plate tectonics to erosion and deposition, can generate and affect landforms.
Terrain is a general term in physical geography, referring to the lie of the land. This is usually expressed in terms of the elevation, slope, and orientation of terrain features. Terrain affects surface water flow and distribution. Over a large area, it can affect weather and climate patterns.
Aerial and satellite imagery is used to identify and delineate terrain features and more general land-cover features. Satellite imagery consists of photographs of Earth or other planets, and can be used to produce composite images of an entire hemisphere.
A mountain is a large landform that stretches above the surrounding land in a limited area usually in the form of a peak. Elevation, volume, relief, steepness, spacing and continuity are all used as criteria for defining a mountain. The highest known mountain in the Solar System is Olympus Mons on the planet Mars.
A mountain range is a chain of mountains bordered by highlands or separated from other mountains by passes or valleys. The Himalaya mountain range contains the world's highest mountains on the Earth's surface; the highest of which is Mount Everest. The Andes Mountains are the world's longest mountain range on the Earth's surface.
A volcano is an opening, or rupture, in a planet's surface or crust, which allows hot, molten rock, ash, and gases to escape from below the surface. Stratovolcanoes are tall conical mountains created from several structures during different kinds of eruptions.