Change the shape of mountains

As a consequence of rain and storms, water fell in a more or less uniform way down the slopes and the rocky walls of the mountains, changing and breaking the rocks into many fragments. Those fragments fell towards the bottom of the mountains due to the force of gravity, forming piles of debris called debris layers.
Debris layers can be easily recognized at the bottom of rocky walls on the Dolomites.
Movements and landslides
Chemical alterations and the degradation of rocks on a slope facilitate the force of gravity. This leads to the slope moving fast or slowly towards the bottom of the mountain. Landslides are the rapid movement of compact rocks, debris masses, large quantities of clay and water or a mixture of mud, soil and rock debris. Landslides originate after or during intense rainy periods. Those slopes that are characterized by dry mud after a long period of draught absorb a big quantity of water after a prolonged rain. The muddy material becomes very fluid and heavy and moves at a speed of up to several kilometres an hour. Landslides can be dangerous and have catastrophic consequences.

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From the Multimedia section

Facts

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