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the science that analyzes and describes the origin, evolution, form, classification, and spatial distance of landfoms


partially weathered rock overlaying bedrock, whether residual or transported


the rock of the Earth's crust that is below the soil and is basically unweathered

Physical weathering

the breaking and disintegrating of rock without any chemical alteration

Chemical weathering

decomposition and decay of the constituent minerals in rock through chemical alteration of those minerals

Frost action

mechanical force that is produced as water expands up to 9% of its volume as it freezes.
-freezing in a cavity can break the rock if exceeds the rock's tensional strength

Talus slope

formed by angular rock fragments that cascade down a slope along the base of a mountain

Mass movement

all unit movements of materials propelled by gravity

Mass wasting

gravitational movement of non-unified material down a slope

Falls and Avalanches

class of mass movement including rock falls and debris avalanches


a volume of rock that falls through the air and hits a surface

Debris Avalanche

a mass of falling and tumbling rock, debris, and soil


a sudden rapid downslope movement of a cohesive mass of regolith and/or bedrock in a variety of mass movement forms under the influence of gravity


Includes earth flows and more fluid mudslides


1. soil particles are lifted and disturbed by the expansion of soil moisture as it freezes
2. by cycles of moisture and dryness
3. by diurnal temperature variations
4. or by grazing livestock (digging animals)

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