Although water absorption may trigger a landslide, the water is frequently not the fundamental cause which creates the unstable ground condition. Frequently, a significant underlying factor is the adverse soil or geologic condition. Original design or construction defects can be causes. Once they become unstable, slopes can fail catastrophically, as happened in the 1998 Laguna Niguel landslide seen below. Smaller slope failures are referred to as surficial slumps
Information & illustrations courtesy of American Geotechnical, Inc.
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