terrain

Terrain, or land relief, is the vertical and horizontal dimension of land surface. When relief is described underwater, the term bathymetry is used. In America, topography has recently become an additional synonym, though in many parts of the world it retains its original more general meaning of description of place.
Terrain is used as a general term in physical geography, referring to the lay 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.
The understanding of terrain is critical for many reasons:
Relief (or local relief) refers specifically to the quantitative measurement of vertical elevation change in a landscape. It is the difference between maximum and minimum elevations within a given area, usually of limited extent. The relief of a landscape can change with the size of the area over which it is…