Definitions of Landslide Features

I have spent a lot of time lately learning about mass wasting. No, that doesn’t have anything to do with drugs. Mass wasting is the downslope movement of slope material under the influence of gravity. Mass wasting shows up as rock falls, landslides, and various types of flow (mud flow, earthflow, debris flows, etc.). I am reproducing here a table from a handout that I got in a recent lecture on landslides. The handout has on it a hand-written reference to Turner & Schuster (eds) 1996, Landslides: Investigation & Mitigation.  On closer examination, an almost identical table can be found at the wikipedia entry for Landslide Clasification.  The wikipedia version, attributed to Varnes (1978), Cruden and Varnes (1996), Hutchinson (1988), and Hungr et al. (2001), is given below.

Type of movement Type of material
Bedrock Engineering soils
Predominantly fine Predominantly coarse
Falls Rockfall Earth fall Debris fall
Topples Rock topple Earth topple Debris topple
Slides Rotational Rock slump Earth slump Debris slump
Translational Few units Rock block slide Earth block slide Debris block slide
Many units Rock slide Earth slide Debris slide
Lateral spreads Rock spread Earth spread Debris spread
Flows Rock flow Earth flow Debris flow
Rock avalanche Debris avalanche
(Deep creep) (Soil creep)
Complex and compound Combination in time and/or space of two or more principal types of movement

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