Conceptual issues related to inland valleys, their morphology, hydrology and agro-ecosystems are discussed, as well as a method for their step-wise characterization at different levels of detail. A definition of inland valleys is given, including the description of the main landscape elements (uplands, slopes, hydromorphic fringes, and valley bottoms) which constitute an inland valley. These landscape elements are related to specific hydrological regimes (pluvial, phreatic and flux zones). Longitudinal differentiation of inland valleys is described, as are the different flooding regimes in them.
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