Solifluction: The Key Facts

Process: Solifluction

  • When the active layer thaws in the summer, the soil become saturated as the water cannot drain away or evaporate resulting in excessive lubrication which reduces the friction between soil particles and increases the mass
  • Even on slopes as shallow as 2*, parts of the active layer then begin to move downslope
  • Results in slow soil creep and rapid mud flows
    Gelifluction – a type of solifluction which is specific to periglacial areas



Landform: Solifluction Lobes and Terracing (as shown above and below)
Slow movement of saturated soil creates solifluction lobes which are rounded, tongue-like features which form terraces on the sides of valleys.




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