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Chapter 15

GEOL 1010 Chapter Notes - Chapter 15: Mass Wasting, Regolith, Debris Flow

Geological Sciences
Course Code
GEOL 1010
Pamela Stephens

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Geology Chapter 15
Landslide is the sudden event in which large quantities of rock and soil plunge down a steep
slope. They can occur in addition to other major natural disasters like wildfires and
earthquakes. A landslide can refer to many different natural disasters such as mudflows and
Mass wasting refers to the downslope movement of rock, regolith and soil under the direct
influence of gravity. Examples include landslides. It is the step that follows weathering. Most
mast wasting occurs on younger steep mountains because a slope is required for mass wasting
to occur. It is often triggered by heavy rainfall, water causes a lubrication effect that causes
particles to flow downhill easily. The removal of vegetation also triggers mass wasting. It
protects soil from erosion and the effects of rainfall. This removal often occurs because of
forest fires and people, which creates an unsafe environment. Earthquakes also dislodge
massive amounts of material from soil and contribute to mass wasting.
Angle of repose is the steepest angle at which material remains stable. Mass wasting is often
triggered when a slope is oversteepened.
Earthquakes can cause liquefaction which turns surface material into fluid like masses and
cause considerable amounts of damage.
Fall is when individual detached pieces free fall during mass wasting. When landslides go off
cliffs is an example of fall. Most falls occur during thaw cycles because vegetation freezes
causing material to loosen.
Talus slopes are the accumulation of rocks at the base of a cliff.
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