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Module 16

Mass Movement

MASS MOVEMENT
Mass movements
Rock material may move under the influence of
gravity either as a movement of weathering
products down a slope, or as a movement of rock
bodies along joint planes, bedding planes, etc.
Mass movement occurs on slopes
Slopes are dynamic evolving features
Slope evolution is influenced by topography,
rock type, climate, vegetation, water and
geologic time
It occurs naturally and/or are influenced by human
activities
It has caused substantial damage and loss of life
Synonymous: gravity transport, mass wasting,
mass-wasting movement, landslide

MASS MOVEMENT

MASS MOVEMENT

MASS MOVEMENT
Slow or rapid slope failure?
The rate of slope failure depends upon
Gradient, how steep the slope is
Materials composing the slope
Amount of water present in those materials
Rate of movement of those materials
The rate of movement varies from
imperceptible creep
to thundering avalanches

MASS MOVEMENT
What Controls and Triggers Mass Movement?
Gravity
Gravity is the main driving force of
mass wasting
Water
Excessive rains weaken rock, loosen
soils, promote fluid flow
Removal of vegetation
Destroys root systems which bind
soil and regolith together
Earthquakes
Earthquakes dislodge huge volumes
of rock and unconsolidated material

MASS MOVEMENT
What Controls and Triggers Mass Movement?

Relationship of shear
force and normal force
to gravity, the main
driving force for mass
wasting

MASS MOVEMENT
What Controls and Triggers Mass Movement?
The effect of water on stability

Unsaturated grains are held


together by surface tension
of water, are more stable

Saturated grains are forced


apart by water, are less
stable, able to flow easily.

MASS MOVEMENT
Why earthquake followed by
mass movement should be
happened in my place?

Mass movements after Yogyakarta


Earthquake May 27th, 2006

MASS MOVEMENT
Classification of Mass Movement Processes
Mass movements processes are classified on the
basis of
slow
Rate of Movement
Type of Movement
Type of Material

Block
Rock
Sand
Debris
Soil
Earth
Mud

rapid

Fall
Slide
Slump
Creep
Flow
Complex movement
(sliding and flow)

Type of movements
FALL

Type of movements
SLIDE

Type of movements
SLUMP

Type of movements
CREEP

Type of movements
FLOW

Classification of Mass Movements

Classification of Mass Movements

Mass Movement Cases


Air photo of the 1970
Peru debris avalanche
The avalanche buried
the villages of Yungay
and Ranrahirca and
killed 19,000 people
Cause: An earthquake
dislodged a slab of
glacier ice, which
rapidly avalanched
down the steep slope
at 125 to 270 mph

Mass Movement Cases

A few people at Yungay


managed to survive the
avalanche by running to
high ground at the
cemetery

Mass Movement Cases

Top of a church buried under 5 m of debris at Yungay

Mass Movement Cases

Creep
Creep is very slow down-slope movement (< 1
cm/yr) of soil or unconsolidated debris
The two factors that contribute most significantly
to creep are
water in the soil
daily cycles of freezing and thawing

Mass Movement Cases


Common Indicators of Creep

Mass Movement Cases

The effect of alternate


cycles of freezing and
thawing on down slope
creep of soil grains

Mass Movement Cases


Debris Flows and Earthflows
The general term debris flow is used for mass
wasting in which motion takes place throughout
the moving mass (flow)
In an earthflow, the debris moves downslope as a
viscous fluid, sometimes slowly, sometimes
rapidly
Earthflows generally occur on steep debriscovered hillsides after heavy rains have saturated
the soil

Mass Movement Cases

Earthflow

Slump (rotational slide)

Mass Movement Cases

La Conchita, CA, Prior to the


1995 Slump and Earthflow

Mass Movement Cases


La Conchita, CA, after
the
1995 Slump and
Earthflow

Mass Movement Cases


Dj vu!
La Conchita, CA, after a
Slump and Earthflow in
2005

Allen photo

Mass Movement Cases

Mudflow caused by the 1980 eruption of Mount St. Helens

Mass Movement Cases


Effects of the 2006 Philippine Mudslide

www.chinadaily.com.cn

www.china.org.cn

thestar.com.my

Mass Movement Cases


Rockfalls and Rockslides
When a block of bedrock breaks off and falls
freely or bounces down a steep cliff, it is called a
rockfall
Commonly, an apron of fallen bedrock blocks,
called talus, accumulates at the base of the cliff
A rockslide involves the rapid sliding of a mass of
bedrock along an inclined plane or weakness
Rockfalls and rockslides can be caused by the
undercutting of the base of a slope by erosion or
construction

Mass Movement Cases


Rockfalls

Mass Movement Cases


Rockfalls
Talus at the base
of a cliff
The product of
numerous rock
falls

Mass Movement Cases


The 1996 Yosemite National Park Rockfall

Notice movement of slide debris up the opposite side


of the valley

Mass Movement Cases

The 1925 Gros Ventre Slide, WY

In 1925, a massive slide dammed the Gros Ventre River, WY, creating Lower
Slide Lake. Two years later, the water breached the natural dam, wiping out
the town of Kelly. Jackson Hole Historical Society and Museum

Mass Movement Cases

Slide scarp

Slide debris
deposited on the
opposite side of the
valley
The Gros Ventre Slide
Slide debris, opposite side of the
valley

Mass Movement Cases

The cause of the 1925 rockslide in the Gros Ventre


Mountains, Wyoming

Preventing Mass Movements


Construction and watering can cause a hillside to
become vulnerable to mass wasting

Do not
cut down hillsides
remove vegetation from hillsides
over water terraces that are built up on steep
hillsides

Preventing Mass Movements


Proper use of French drains can prevent mass wasting

How to install a French drain

Dump well sorted gravel against the wall on the upslope side
Install perforated drain pipes or punch holes through the wall
Cover gravel with a fine mesh to prevent small clasts from the
overlying soil from filling pore spaces in the gravel
Put soil on top of the mesh

Preventing Mass Movements


Build safe road cuts

Cross section of a hill


showing a safe road cut on
the left and a hazardous
road cut on the right

The hazardous road


cut after removal of
rock that may slide

Preventing Mass Movements

Stitching is
one method used to
stabilize bedrock to
prevent a rockslide
along a hazardous
road cut

Preventing Mass Movements

Stitched bedrock along a hazardous road cut near Valdese, Alaska

Summary of Controls of Mass Movements