Skip to main content
Geosciences LibreTexts

10: Mass Wasting

  • Page ID
  • \( \newcommand{\vecs}[1]{\overset { \scriptstyle \rightharpoonup} {\mathbf{#1}} } \) \( \newcommand{\vecd}[1]{\overset{-\!-\!\rightharpoonup}{\vphantom{a}\smash {#1}}} \)\(\newcommand{\id}{\mathrm{id}}\) \( \newcommand{\Span}{\mathrm{span}}\) \( \newcommand{\kernel}{\mathrm{null}\,}\) \( \newcommand{\range}{\mathrm{range}\,}\) \( \newcommand{\RealPart}{\mathrm{Re}}\) \( \newcommand{\ImaginaryPart}{\mathrm{Im}}\) \( \newcommand{\Argument}{\mathrm{Arg}}\) \( \newcommand{\norm}[1]{\| #1 \|}\) \( \newcommand{\inner}[2]{\langle #1, #2 \rangle}\) \( \newcommand{\Span}{\mathrm{span}}\) \(\newcommand{\id}{\mathrm{id}}\) \( \newcommand{\Span}{\mathrm{span}}\) \( \newcommand{\kernel}{\mathrm{null}\,}\) \( \newcommand{\range}{\mathrm{range}\,}\) \( \newcommand{\RealPart}{\mathrm{Re}}\) \( \newcommand{\ImaginaryPart}{\mathrm{Im}}\) \( \newcommand{\Argument}{\mathrm{Arg}}\) \( \newcommand{\norm}[1]{\| #1 \|}\) \( \newcommand{\inner}[2]{\langle #1, #2 \rangle}\) \( \newcommand{\Span}{\mathrm{span}}\)\(\newcommand{\AA}{\unicode[.8,0]{x212B}}\)

    • 10.1: Introduction to Mass Wasting
      Processes of downslope movement of surficial Earth materials under the pull of gravity are collectively termed mass wasting.
    • 10.2: The Controls on Downslope Movement
      At this point we need to take a closer look at what controls whether a mass of material will slide down a slope.
    • 10.3: Kinds of Mass Wasting
      Enough of theories and generalities. What kinds of mass-wasting processes are important?
    • 10.4: Creep
      The expressive term creep is used for all slow downslope movements of regolith under the pull of gravity that are so slow as to be imperceptible except to observations with long duration (days to weeks in the case of solifluction; years to decades to centuries in the case of slower creep).
    • 10.5: Landslides
      As noted above, the term landslide is used for a variety of downslope movements of rock and regolith.
    • 10.6: Debris Flows
      Debris flows are concentrated mixtures of water and loose rock and mineral material that flow downslope, usually in a preexisting channel, under the pull of gravity.

    Thumbnail: (Unsplash; Max Slch via Unsplash)

    This page titled 10: Mass Wasting is shared under a CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 license and was authored, remixed, and/or curated by John Southard (MIT OpenCourseware) via source content that was edited to the style and standards of the LibreTexts platform; a detailed edit history is available upon request.