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When good rivers turn bad: Extreme flooding
Streams and mass wasting

Soil creep

Soil creep - Click to enlargeSoil creep is a very, very slow form of mass wasting. It's just a slow adjustment of soil and rocks that is so hard to notice unless you can see the effects of the movement. These effects would be things like fenceposts shifted out of alignment, or telephone poles tipping downslope. Another effect is the way a grass covered slope seems to ooze downhill forming little bulges in the soil. This heaving of the soil occurs in regions subjected to freeze-thaw conditions. The freeze lifts particles of soil and rocks and when there is a thaw, the particles are set back down, but not in the same place as before.

Gravity always causes the rocks and soil to settle just a little farther downslope than where they started from. This is the slow movement that defines creep. Creep can also be seen in areas that experience a constant alternation of wetting and drying periods which work in the same way as the freeze/thaw.

Monitoring is essentially done through observation of the effects of creep. Since the process is so slow, it can only be monitored in terms of flow over long periods of time.

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1. Origins of extreme weather | 2. Finding hidden treasure | 3. Streams and mass wasting
4. The Johnstone River, FNQ


The resources contained in this unit are courtesy of Earth Science Australia http://earthsci.org/