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What is mass wasting?

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Mass wasting is a geomorphic process. It refers to the movement of soil and rock that lie on a slope due to the pull of gravity. Mass wasting can occur slowly over several hundred years or if the conditions are right can take place in the time span of a few minutes.

Soil and rock that lies on a rock is kept in place by forces of cohesion. These include the forces of friction and biological growth. When the angle of the slope changes or there are other triggers like seismic activity or heavy rainfall, the cohesive forces are no longer able to resist the gravitational pull of attraction which leads to the soil and rock sliding downwards.

Examples of mass wasting are landslides, rockslides, growth of natural dam structures, etc.

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