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Abstract

The paper assesses the contribution of mass movement to the development of landforms in weathered granite and gneiss terrain, using examples from SE Brazil, southern Mexico, SE China, and other locations. The style of slope failures varies depending on local relief and the grade of weathering, which mutually influence each other. Shallow debris slides and boulder falls are common in less weathered rock and steep terrain, whereas rotational slides appear to dominate in highly weathered rock and in more subdued topography. In certain topographic circumstances, slides may turn into debris flows or earthflows. Extreme rainfall is a typical trigger of mass movement in weathered terrain. Mapping of past landslides may considerably assist in hazard assessment, as they usually leave a clear geomorphological record.

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