Landslide and mass movement processes and their distribution in the Wellington District of Somerset

K. A. Freeborough, A. D. Gibson, M. Hall, C. Poulton, G. Wildman, A. Forster, E. Burt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The British Geological Survey (BGS) has recently carried out a study of the slope processes that formed the landslide and mass movement deposits in the Wellington District of Somerset during the Quaternary. This landslide study, part of the continuing research into landslides and mass movement processes in Great Britain, recorded one hundred and eighteen landslides that were entered into the new National Landslide Database. 

The landslides were studied using walkover field survey and office-based remote sensing techniques. Significant past and current landslide activity was found to be associated with three distinct slope behaviour units, which are defined by their bedrock geology and topology, The Upper Greensand Formation overlying the Mercia Mudstone Group defined slope behaviour unit A, the Upper Greensand Formation overlying the Lias Group identified slope behaviour unit B and the Penarth Group overlying the Mercia Mudstone Group, slope behaviour unit C. Geomorphological models for these units were created which described the landslide processes and the deposits that they engendered. The research in this area also enabled further refinement of the 'landslide domain' concept, which is being developed as a better way of describing and depicting the distribution of the wide range of landslides and mass movement deposits that are the result of the complex interaction of geological materials and climatic changes during the Quaternary.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)139-144
Number of pages6
JournalGeoscience in South-West England
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2005


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