A piedmonttreppen or piedmont benchland[1] is a conceived landform consisting in a succession of benches at different heights and that forms in sequence during the uplift of a geological dome. The concept was first proposed in a posthumous publication by Walther Penck in 1924.[2]

Penck's type area for the piedmontreppen was the Black Forest of Germany.[1][3] Outside Germany the South Swedish Dome has been identified as containing a piedmonttreppen, with the uppermost and oldest surface being the Sub-Cambrian peneplain. It is followed by three surfaces, one at 300 m a.s.l., another at 200 m and then the South Småland peneplain.[4] There have been attempts at describing the southern portion of the Scandinavian Mountains as having a piedmonttreppen topography made up of paleic surfaces in the uplands and a strandflat at sea level. This idea has been strongly contested by Olaf Holtedahl.[5] Later authors also stress that the Scandinavian Mountains cannot be described as a series of domes.[6]


  1. ^ a b Harris, Stuart A. (1968). "Treppen concept (penck)". Geomorphology. Encyclopedia of Earth Science. ISBN 978-3-540-31060-0.
  2. ^ Young, R.W. (2004). "Escarpment". In Goudie, A.S. (ed.). Encyclopedia of Geomorphology. pp. 337–340.
  3. ^ Spreitzer, H. (1951). "Die Piedmonttreppen in der regionalen Geomorphologie". Erdkunde (in German). 5 (4): 294–305. JSTOR 25635740.
  4. ^ Lidmar-Bergström, Karna; Olvmo, Mats; Bonow, Johan M. (2017). "The South Swedish Dome: a key structure for identification of peneplains and conclusions on Phanerozoic tectonics of an ancient shield". GFF.
  5. ^ Holtedahl, Olaf (1965). "The South-Norwegian Piedmonttreppe of W. Evers". Norsk Geografisk Tidsskrift. 20 (3–4): 74–84. doi:10.1080/00291956508551831.
  6. ^ Redfied, T.F.; Osmundsen, P.T. (2013). "The long-term topographic response of a continent adjacent to a hyperextended margin: A case study from Scandinavia". GSA Bulletin. 125 (1): 184–200. doi:10.1130/B30691.1.