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Mudslide is also the name of a cocktail.


A mudslide is the most rapid (up to 80 km/h, or 50 mph) and fluid type of downhill mass wasting. It is a rapid movement of a large mass of mud formed from loose soil and water. Similar terms are mudflow, mud stream, debris flow (e.g. in high mountains), j√∂kulhlaup, and lahar (from volcanoes, see also pyroclastic flow).
Mailboxes caught in a mudflow


However, these terms show a broad variety

Triggering of mud flows

Heavy rainfall, snowmelt, or high levels of ground water flowing through cracked bedrock may trigger a movement of soil or sediments. Floods, debris- and mud flows may also occur when strong rains on hill or mountain slopes cause extensive erosion and/or what is known as "channel scour". The 2006 Sidoarjo mud flowmarker may have been caused by rogue drilling.

Some broad mudflows are rather viscous and therefore slow (some meters/sec). Others begin very quick and continue like an avalanche. If "large enough" they can devastate villages and countrysides. They are composed of at least 50% silt and clay-sized materials and up to 30% water. Mudflows are common even in the hills around Los Angelesmarker where they have destroyed many homes built on hillsides without sufficient support .

The point where a muddy material begins to flow, depends on its grain and the water content. Fine grainy material or soil has a smaller friction angle than a coarse sediment or a debris flow, but falling rock pieces can trigger a material flow, too.

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