So far this course has gone through two phases:

The small scale phenomena: The bare nuts and bolts of the materials we deal with in geology: Minerals, rocks, rock types.
The grand schemes: geological time & plate tectonics. The processes that account for the global distribution of continents, oceans, and mountains.

Now we will launch into the third major phase: The processes acting on Earth's surface. Because this is mostly the domain of sedimentary rocks, we will be concentrating on sedimentary processes: erosion, transport, and deposition.

Transport: The process by which sediments are moved from their source to their site of deposition. Agents of transport include:

Gravity-driven Transport - Mass Wasting

Mass Wasting: All of the processes by which masses of rock move downhill under the influence of gravity.

Understanding mass wasting ultimately boils down to understanding two big concepts:


Of these, the third is obvious. Let's consider the other two

Nature of slope materials. Variables include: