The movement of a mass of rock or soil down a slope. The term is used to describe a variety of phenomena, from rock falls to the gradual downhill flow of soil. Landslides occur when the force of gravity acting on the materials within a slope overcomes the material's resistance to shearing. Among the processes that can lead to a landslide are the steepening of a slope by natural erosion or excavation, the overloading of the slope by an inflow of water, and the motion caused by an earthquake.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise.
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