Mass Wasting.doc

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Earth & Planetary Sciences
EPSC 181
Souad Guernina

Mass Wasting 1. What role does gravity play in mass-wasting processes? Mass movement occur when the force of gravity exceeds the strength of the slope material. On a slope, gravity has two components, one at right angles to the slop, the stay force, and the other parallel to the slop, the go force. As the slope angle increases, the stay force decreases, while the go force increases. 2. What are the important variables influencing slope movement? - stay force - internal resistance to movement -Go force- force causing movement parallel to slope, increases with slope angle 3. What is the difference between a slide and flow? A slide is the downslope movement of Earth materials under the influence of gravity while a flow is when materials move like a viscous fluid. The way a sediment flows depends on the relative proportions of solids, water and air in the mixture and on the physical and chemical properties of the sediment. 4. What is the difference between a slump and a slide? For a slump slope failure involves rotational movement of material downward on a curved slip surface typically involving unconsolidated (loose and unstratified) material saturated with water, while with a slide movement is transitional movement in one direction with no rotational movement. For slides, it involves the relatively coherent blocks of material along a well-defined, inclined surface such as a bedding plane or a fracture surface. 5. What is the difference between a slurry and granular flow? Give two example. Slurry flows are moving mass of water saturated material while granular flow is not saturated with water, instead the weight of the flowing sediment is supported by contact or collision with grains. Example of slurry flows include solifluction, debris flows and mudflows while granular flow examples include creep, Earthflow and debris avalanche. Solifluction is found in glacial env
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