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Mass Wasting Notes

Mass Wasting Notes

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Published by: opulithe on Aug 31, 2009
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12/04/2012

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original

 
 
[2007]
 
MASS WASTING: The Work Of Gravity
Omondi
 
Felix
 
Mark
 
©1993
2003©Opulithe
 
Corporation
 
2007
 
January
 
14th
 
 
 
1
 
M
ASS
 
W
ASTING
:
 
T
HE
 
WORK
 
OF
 
G
RAVITY
 
Earth’s
 
surface
 
is
 
never
 
perfectly
 
flat
 
but
 
instead
 
consists
 
of 
 
slopes.
 
Some
 
are
 
steep
 
and
 
precipitous;
 
others
 
are
 
moderate
 
or
 
gentle.
 
Some
 
are
 
long
 
and
 
gradual;
 
others
 
are
 
short
 
and
 
abrupt.
 
Slopes
 
can
 
be
 
mantled
 
with
 
soil
 
and
 
covered
 
by
 
vegetation
 
or
 
consists
 
of 
 
barren
 
rock
 
and
 
rubble.
 
Taken
 
together,
 
slopes
 
are
 
the
 
most
 
common
 
element
 
in
 
our
 
physical
 
landscape.
 
Although
 
most
 
slopes
 
may
 
appear
 
to
 
be
 
stable
 
and
 
unchanging,
 
the
 
force
 
of 
 
gravity
 
causes
 
material
 
to
 
move
 
downslope.
 
At
 
one
 
extreme,
 
the
 
movement
 
may
 
be
 
gradual
 
and
 
practically
 
imperceptible.
 
At
 
the
 
other
 
extreme,
 
it
 
may
 
consist
 
of 
 
a
 
thundering
 
rockfall
 
or
 
avalanche.
 
Occasionally,
 
news
 
media
 
report
 
the
 
terrifying
 
and
 
often
 
grim
 
details
 
of 
 
landslides.
 
For
 
example,
 
on
 
May
 
31
 
2006,
 
a
 
gigantic
 
landslide
 
buried
 
more
 
than
 
ten
 
homes
 
in
 
Malava
 
division
 
Kakamega
 
district.
 
There
 
was
 
little
 
warning
 
of 
 
the
 
implementing
 
disaster;
 
it
 
began
 
and
 
ended
 
in
 
 just
 
a
 
matter
 
of 
 
few
 
minutes.
 
The
 
landslide
 
started
 
a
 
few
 
meters
 
from
 
the
 
village
 
hills,
 
near
 
the
 
summit
 
of 
 
6700
meter,
 
the
 
loftiest
 
peak
 
in
 
Malava.
 
Triggered
 
by
 
heavy
 
supersaturated
 
ground
 
from
 
a
 
strong
 
and
 
huge
 
rainfall,
 
a
 
large
 
mass
 
of 
 
soil
 
and
 
water
 
broke
 
free
 
from
 
the
 
precipitous
 
north
 
face
 
of 
 
the
 
hills.
 
After
 
plunging
 
nearly
 
a
 
few
 
meters,
 
the
 
material
 
pulverized
 
on
 
impact
 
and
 
immediately
 
began
 
rushing
 
down
 
the
 
hillside,
 
made
 
fluid
 
by
 
trapped
 
air
 
and
 
water.
 
As
 
with
 
many
 
geologic
 
hazards,
 
the
 
tragic
 
soil
 
avalanche
 
in
 
Malava
 
division
 
was
 
triggered
 
by
 
a
 
natural
 
event
 
in
 
this
 
case,
 
a
 
supersaturated
 
ground.
 
In
 
fact,
 
most
 
mass
wasting
 
events,
 
whether
 
spectacular
 
or
 
subtle,
 
are
 
the
 
result
 
of 
 
circumstances
 
that
 
are
 
completely
 
dependent
 
on
 
human
 
activities.
 
If 
 
the
 
trees
 
on
 
the
 
hills
 
had
 
not
 
been
 
removed
 
this
 
disaster
 
would
 
have
 
been
 
controlled.
 
In
 
places
 
where
 
mass
 
wasting
 
is
 
a
 
recognized
 
threat,
 
steps
 
can
 
often
 
be
 
taken
 
to
 
control
 
downslope
 
movements
 
or
 
limit
 
the
 
damages
 
that
 
such
 
movements
 
can
 
cause.
 
If 
 
the
 
potential
 
for
 
mass
 
Wasting
 
goes
 
unrecognized
 
or
 
is
 
ignored,
 
the
 
results
 
can
 
be
 
costly
 
and
 
dangerous.
 
It
 
should
 
also
 
be
 
pointed
 
out
 
that,
 
although
 
most
 
downslope
 
movements
 
Occur
 
Whether
 
people
 
are
 
present
 
or
 
not,
 
many
 
occurrences
 
each
 
year
 
are
 
aggravated
 
or
 
even
 
triggered
 
by
 
natural
 
event
in
 
most
 
cases,
 
earthquake.
 
Mass
Wasting
 
and
 
landform
 
Development
 
Landslides
 
are
 
spectacular
 
examples
 
of 
 
a
 
common
 
geologic
 
process
 
called
 
mass
 
wasting
.
 
Mass
 
wasting
 
refers
 
to
 
the
 
downslope
 
movement 
 
of 
 
rock,
 
regolith,
 
and 
 
soil 
 
under 
 
the
 
direct 
 
influence
 
of 
 
gravity 
.
 
It
 
is
 
distinct
 
from
 
the
 
erosional 
 
 processes
 
that
 
are
 
examined
 
in
 
subsequent
 
chapters
 
because
 
mass
 
wasting
 
does
 
not
 
require
 
a
 
transporting
 
medium.
 
In
 
the
 
evolution
 
of 
 
most
 
landforms,
 
mass
 
wasting
 
is
 
the
 
step
 
that
 
follows
 
weathering
.
 
By
 
itself 
 
weathering
 
does
 
not
 
produce
 
significant
 
landforms.
 
Rather,
 
landforms
 
develop
 
as
 
the
 
products
 
of 
 
weathering
 
are
 
removed
 
from
 
the
 
places
 
where
 
they
 
originate.
 
Once
 
weathering
 
weakens
 
and
 
breaks
 
rock
 
apart,
 
mass
 
wasting
 
transfers
 
the
 
debris
 
downslope,
 
where
 
a
 
stream,
 
acting
 
as
 
a
 
conveyor
 
belt,
 
usually
 
carries
 
it
 
away.
 
Although
 
there
 
may
 
be
 
many
 
intermediate
 
stops
 
along
 
the
 
way,
 
the
 
sediment
 
is
 
eventually
 
transported
 
to
 
its
 
ultimate
 
destination,
 
the
 
sea.
 
The
 
combined
 
effects
 
of 
 
mass
 
wasting
 
and
 
running
 
water 
 
produce
 
stream
 
valleys,
 
which
 
are
 
©1993
2003
 
Opulithe
 
Corporation.
 
All
 
rights
 
reserved
 
 
 
2
 
the
 
most
 
common
 
and
 
conspicuous
 
of 
 
Earth's
 
landforms.
 
If 
 
streams
 
alone
 
were
 
responsible
 
for
 
creating
 
the
 
valleys
 
in
 
which
 
they
 
flow,
 
valleys
 
would
 
be
 
very
 
narrow
 
features.
 
However,
 
the
 
fact
 
that
 
most
 
river
 
valleys
 
are
 
much
 
wider
 
than
 
they
 
are
 
deep
 
is
 
a
 
strong
 
indication
 
of 
 
the
 
significance
 
of 
 
mass
wasting
 
processes
 
in
 
supplying
 
material
 
to
 
streams.
 
This
 
is
 
illustrated
 
by
 
the
 
Grand
 
Canyon
 
(Figure
 
8.2)
 
and
 
the
 
Great
 
Hell’s
 
Gate,
 
Naivasha
 
(Figure
 
8.3).
 
The
 
walls
 
of 
 
the
 
canyon
 
extend
 
far
 
from
 
the
 
Colorado
 
River
 
Owing
 
to
 
the
 
transfer
 
of 
 
weathered
 
debris
 
downslope
 
to
 
the
 
river
 
and
 
its
 
tributaries
 
by
 
mass
wasting
 
processes.
 
In
 
this
 
manner,
 
streams
 
and
 
mass
 
wasting
 
combine
 
to
 
modify
 
and
 
sculpture
 
the
 
surface.
 
Of 
 
course,
 
glaciers,
 
groundwa
ter,
 
waves,
 
and
 
wind
 
are
 
also
 
important
 
agents
 
in
 
shaping
 
landforms
 
and
 
developing
 
landscapes.
 
FIGURE
 
8.2:
 
The
 
walls
 
of 
 
the
 
Grand
 
Canyon
 
extend
 
far
 
from
 
the
 
channel
 
of 
 
the
 
Colorado
 
River.
 
This
 
results
 
primarily
 
from
 
the
 
transfer
 
of 
 
weathered
 
debris
 
downslope
 
to
 
the
 
river
 
and
 
its
 
tributaries
 
by
 
mass
wasting
 
processes.
 
(Photo
 
by
 
Tom
 
Till)
 
©1993
2003
 
Opulithe
 
Corporation.
 
All
 
rights
 
reserved
 

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