Classification of Mass Wasting on basis of Speed

Classification of Mass Wasting on basis of Speed

Posted by Manisha on May 09, 2020

In my post Why Mountain, Hill, and Slope face Mass Wasting I already listed different types of mass wasting on the basis of speed. 
In this post we will discuss about each and every type in illustrative way.

If you ever got the chance to tour and visit any hilly or mountainous area then it will became more easy to understand this very well. Maybe some of you already living in the slopy area then you came to know your living place more closely with a different perception. 

Classification of mass wasting on the basis of speed:
Mainly it is classified into two category. We will discuss each one by one by one. 


When the process of slope movement or failure is very slow that it can not be noticed normally, then it is called slow mass movement. It is further divided into different types, are as follows:

Soil creep - It is the movement of soil along the slope due to gravitational force. Commonly found in wet region.

Rock creep - The downward movement of rocks and bedrocks due to gravitation is called rock creep. 

Scree and Talus - When small pebble, sand gravel (screen) and big sized rocks (talus) moved down from the steep slope of cliffs, mountains and stored near its base is called scree and talus.

Solifluction - This generally happens in heavy snowfall having areas, this movements create steps or terrace shaped landforms.

Mass Movement Soil Creep
Soil Creep - Mass Movement


When the process of slope movement happens all of sudden. It's unpredictable and after movement landforms are clearly visible, then it is known as rapid mass movement. It’s also known as a catastrophic mass movement. Important rapid movement are as follows—

Earth flow - in this, movement of fine soil filled with the water towards downward into the earth occurs. This creates lakes and ponds sometimes. In the rainy season, it is very common. it is also very dangerous for slope area side roads and train tracks.

Landslide - When the regolith and bedrocks moved suddenly from the top of the slope to the bottom due to gravitation. 
These are very destructive in nature. 

Some landslides are:

  • Rockslide
  • Rockfall
  • Debris slide
  • Slumping 

Earth Slide - When a big block of rock, moved downward suddenly at the base of the mountain without any breakdown is called Earth slide. 

Mud Flow - This movement found only in rainy areas, where heavy mudflows downward.