Encyclopedia of Planetary Landforms

2015 Edition
| Editors: Henrik Hargitai, Ákos Kereszturi

Slopes

Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4614-3134-3_560

Definition

Slopes are inclined surfaces.

Synonyms

Morphometry

Slope Gradient

Slope gradient is the inclination of the surface of the soil from the horizontal. If the difference in elevation (rise) is 1 m over a horizontal distance (run) of 100 m, slope gradient is 1 %. A slope of 45° is a slope of 100 %, because the difference in elevation between two points 100 m apart horizontally is 100 m on a 45° slope (Soil Survey Division Staff 1993). Savigear ( 1965) proposed the following slope classes: lowland flats (0–1° slope gradient), flat (1–2°), slope (2–40°), and cliff (>40°). Slope and terrain classes for soil survey in the USA are described in Table 1. See also Acton et al. ( 1976) for a somewhat different classification.
Slopes, Table 1

Slope and terrain classes for soil survey in the USA (After Soil Survey Division Staff 1993)

Classes simple slopes

Complex slopes (terrain)

Slope gradient limits

Percent (%) (rise/run)

Approx. degree (angle)

Nearly level

Nearly level

0–3

0–2°

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References

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.NASA Ames Research Center/NPPMoffett FieldUSA