What Are Some Examples of Mass Movement?

Mass movement refers to the relocation of surface material resulting from gravity. The most common types of mass movement are landslides and rockfalls; these types of movements are very sudden. Other forms of mass movement include slump, rockslide, debris slide, flow and talus. Weathering and erosion are the major contributors to mass movement processes.

A slump refers to downward and outward movement of a rock or loose material moving as a block. Large consolidated materials move rapidly outward and inward along a curved plane. Creep is the gradual downslope movement of sediment. This movement is so slow that it can last for several years. Creep is common in places that have encountered recurring freezing and thawing, which alter the composition structure of the soil.

Flows result when a mixture of water and sediment forms a soupy mass of rock, soil, water and other materials. This mixture swiftly slips down a hill. Examples of this form of mass movement are earthflows and mudflows. This movement can be very destructive. Rockslides are known to be the most destructive form of landslides. They are characterized by a sudden slide of bedrock along weak planes. A debris slide is a small rapid movement of loose material down a slope. The result of this slide is a low-relief hummocky surface.