What is a Landslide? What Causes Landslide?

By BYJU'S Exam Prep

Updated on: November 9th, 2023

A landslide is the movement of a large amount of debris, rock, or earth down a slope in certain land areas. Landslides are caused by heavy rains, volcanoes, earthquakes, and other similar factors that make the slope unstable. It is a common phenomenon in most hilly areas, especially during the monsoon season.

Landslides Definition

The downward movement of rock, debris, or earth due to various natural causes is known as landslides. Landslides are accompanied by natural phenomena such as earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, and heavy rainfall.

Landslides are known among scientists as ‘mass vesting’ and are described as being locked in a downward motion of the Earth’s surface. Landslides are several forms of large-scale wasting that can involve a wide range of ground movements.

Causes of Landslides

The causes of landslides can be broadly classified into three categories, i.e. geology, morphology, and human activity which contributes majorly.

  • Landslides are a common occurrence in Indian mountainous regions where heavy rainfall affects the earth’s surface to a great extent.
  • They destabilize the slopes and result in landslides.
  • It occurs in different environments, indicated by steep or gentle slope gradients from mountain ranges to coastal cliffs or underwater.

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