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Mass Wasting: Slip-Sliding Away



Mass Wasting: Slip-Sliding Away

A Short Reader

Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 4 to 6
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   5.5

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    happening, rockslide, force, gradual, steeper, landslide, purpose, affects, volcanic, poles, downhill, gravity, mass, mudslide, utility, rocks


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Mass Wasting: Slip-Sliding Away
By Cindy Grigg
  

1     Gravity is a force. It affects everything on Earth. It affects soil and rock on Earth's surface. When soil or rock slides down a slope, it is called mass wasting. It is sometimes called slope movement. Mass wasting can happen fast. A landslide, rockslide, or avalanche happens quickly. When these large masses of mud, soil, rock, or snow slide downhill, lots of damage can result. Riverbeds can be filled up with soil or forced to change their course. Flooding can happen because of this.
 
2     When snow and ice pile up on the side of a mountain, they can stay there for a while. But sooner or later, gravity will pull them down the slope. An avalanche is the rapid downhill movement of a mass of snow. Avalanches may be caused by cycles of freezing and thawing. Sometimes animals or people are the cause. Sometimes avalanches are caused by earthquakes or volcanic eruptions. Because people can be hurt or killed by avalanches, sometimes avalanches are caused on purpose. In areas where people go skiing, sometimes a controlled avalanche is produced to prevent too much snow from causing damage to the area.

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