Story: Landslides

Dammed stream, Gisborne 6 August 2002

Dammed stream, Gisborne 6 August 2002

As landslides are driven by gravity they tend to take the shortest path downwards. They often come down at an angle to a stream or riverbed (foreground in this image), creating a dam. Small ponds and lakes can form behind the slide, drowning areas upstream. Eventually the river or stream cuts a way through the dam, but in some cases the dam may suddenly burst, releasing a slurry of rock, earth and water downstream. These types of flood have been responsible for many deaths throughout the world.

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Photograph by Mike Crozier

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How to cite this page:

Michael J. Crozier, 'Landslides - People and landslides', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 16 July 2024)

Story by Michael J. Crozier, published 12 Jun 2006