Mass Wasting

Practice exam questions written by Timothy H. Heaton,
Professor of Earth Sciences, University of South Dakota

Click the circle by an answer with the mouse, then click on the Submit button to get a response. You will be told if your answer is correct or not and will be given some comments.

  1. What type of mass wasting involves block rotation and leaves scarps?
    Creep.
    Earthflow.
    Lahar.
    Mudflow.
    Rockslide.
    Slump.
    Solifluction.

  2. What type of mass wasting is channelized like a river?
    Creep.
    Earthflow.
    Lahar.
    Mudflow.
    Rockslide.
    Slump.
    Solifluction.

  3. What type of mass wasting involves sliding on well-defined surfaces?
    Creep.
    Earthflow.
    Lahar.
    Mudflow.
    Rockslide.
    Slump.
    Solifluction.

  4. What is the most common type of mass wasting on active volcanoes?
    Creep.
    Earthflow.
    Lahar.
    Mudflow.
    Rockslide.
    Slump.
    Solifluction.

  5. Which type of mass wasting occurs most slowly?
    Creep.
    Earthflow.
    Lahar.
    Mudflow.
    Rockslide.
    Slump.
    Solifluction.

  6. Which type of mass wasting is associated with permafrost?
    Creep.
    Earthflow.
    Lahar.
    Mudflow.
    Rockslide.
    Slump.
    Solifluction.

  7. What process builds talus cones?
    Creep.
    Frost wedging.
    Rockslides.
    Stream action.
    Volcanic activity.

  8. What is a rock avalanche?
    A glacial moraine.
    A snow avalanche with an abundance of rock in it.
    Another term for rockslide.
    The fastest type of mass wasting.
    The slowest type of mass wasting.

  9. If the sedimentary strata in a canyon are dipping down to the west, which side of the canyon is most likely to have a rockslide?
    East.
    West.

  10. What is the angle of repose?
    A flat slope.
    Overhanging cliffs.
    The slope at which mudflows begin to occur.
    The slope of high mountain rivers.
    The steepest slope that loose particles can maintain.

  11. What triggers mass wasting?
    Earthquakes.
    Loss of vegetation.
    Oversteepening of slopes.
    Saturation by water.
    All of the above.

  12. What is the ultimate force that causes mass wasting?
    Electricity.
    Gravity.
    Tides.
    Water.
    Wind.

Please report any problems or errors to Dr. Heaton.