Encyclopedia of Natural Hazards

2013 Edition
| Editors: Peter T. Bobrowsky

Deep-seated Gravitational Slope Deformation

Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4020-4399-4_86


A deep-seated gravitational slope deformation (DGSD) is a gravity-induced process affecting large portions of slopes evolving over very long periods of time. A DGSD may displace rock volumes of up to hundreds of millions of cubic meters, with thicknesses of up to a few hundred meters.


Deep-seated gravitational slope deformations (DGSDs) are not considered hazardous phenomena because they evolve very slowly. However, they must not be neglected when defining slope instability in a territory and the related hazard implications. Despite their slow deformation rates, DGSDs may cause damage to surface and underground (e.g., tunnels) structures. In addition, they may evolve into faster mass movements or favor collateral landslide processes.


Deep-seated gravitational slope deformations are often recognized in formerly glaciated valleys and in seismically active mountain regions. The occurrence of DGSD is generally related to tensional stresses induced by gravity...

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© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Dipartimento di Scienze della TerraUniversità degli Studi di Modena e Reggio EmiliaModenaItaly