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Ministry of Energy Mines and Responsible for Core Review

Landslide Types

Landslides or slope movements can be classified in many ways. There are many attributes used as criteria for identification and classification including:


  • Rate of movement: This ranges from very slow creep (millimetres/year) to extremely rapid (metres/second).
  • Type of material: Landslides are composed of bedrock, unconsolidated sediment and/or organic debris.
  • Nature of movement: The moving debris can slide, slump, flow or fall.

Common landslide types are:


Slide diagram Slide: movement parallel to planes of weakness and occasionally parallel to slope.
Creep diagram Creep: gradual movement of slope materials
Slump diagram Slump: complex movement of materials on a slope; includes rotational slump.
Topple diagram Topple: the end-over-end motion of rock down a slope.
Fall diagram Fall: material free falls.
Flow diagram Flow: viscous to fluid-like motion of debris.
Torrent diagram Torrent::a sporadic and sudden channelized discharge of water and debris.

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Landslides in British Columbia was originally produced as Information Circular 1993-7 by the BC Geological Survey Branch of the B.C. Ministry of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources in cooperation with the B.C. Ministry of Health, the B.C. Ministry of Transportation and Highways, the B.C. Ministry of Environment, Lands and Parks, the B.C. Ministry of Forests, the B.C. Provincial Emergency Program, and with the assistance of the Geological Survey of Canada.

Copies are available from: 
Publications Office,

BC Geological Survey