Concept

Mass wasting

Summary
Mass wasting, also known as mass movement, is a general term for the movement of rock or soil down slopes under the force of gravity. It differs from other processes of erosion in that the debris transported by mass wasting is not entrained in a moving medium, such as water, wind, or ice. Types of mass wasting include creep, solifluction, rockfalls, debris flows, and landslides, each with its own characteristic features, and taking place over timescales from seconds to hundreds of years. Mass wasting occurs on both terrestrial and submarine slopes, and has been observed on Earth, Mars, Venus, Jupiter's moon Io, and on many other bodies in the Solar System. Subsidence is sometimes regarded as a form of mass wasting. A distinction is then made between mass wasting by subsidence, which involves little horizontal movement, and mass wasting by slope movement. Rapid mass wasting events, such as landslides, can be deadly and destructive. More gradual mass wasting, such as soil creep, po
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