Geographia Polonica (1992) vol. 60

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Slow soil movement as a global phenomenon

Alfred Jahn

Geographia Polonica (1992) vol. 60, pp. 5-24

Abstract

Slow mass movement of the soil is a form of transporting of slope material. It can be classified according to: the dynamics of the process, the structure of the movement (particles, layers) and the relation to the morphological surface (shallow or deep movement). In this way it is possible to distinguish soil creep as the important process within this group of mass wasting factors. Seasonal creep is first of all a function of climate whereas continuous or rheological creep is a function of geological structure.The slow movement of the soil depends on local factors (slope angle, moisture of the soil, vegetation cover) and on latitudinal and altitudinal climatic zonal factors (temperature, precipitation). The rate of soil movement in the polar (periglacial) zone is the highest on the globe. It is, as mass movement of the soil, three times higher than in the alpine zone. The soil creep processes in temperate climates are relatively small but greater than in the tropic zone. The smallest soil movement is in the arid and semi-arid zone.

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Alfred Jahn, Geographical Institute, University of Wrocław, Wrocław Poland