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Measure the extend of creeping soil on hillsides

Suitable For

Grade 7



Time Required

 <1 Week



What’s it about?

Soil influences many areas of our lives and is an integral part of our ecosystem. The composition of the soil in an area has a direct effect on the plant and animal life there. The formation of soil is a lengthy process and the soil beneath our feet is always moving even if it seems to be motionless.

Hillsides are especially prone to moving or ‘creeping’ soil where the soil creeps along in a gradual downward flow. Use a protractor and a weight to determine the amount of ‘lean’ in objects such as trees, posts and other vertical elements in the following science experiment. Plot your results in a chart:

Topics covered

Creep, Landslide

What will I need?


Procedure (Method)

Unfortunately, this section is only available in the e-book version of the project.

How does it work?

Unfortunately, this section is only available in the e-book version of the project.

With creeping soil, loose materials slowly and gradually slide down a steep slope instead of tumbling down quickly as in a ‘landslide’. In this science experiment you can find many examples of creep in the measured angles of trees, posts and other vertical elements, as the soil below them moved over time. The greater number of leaning objects, the more the soil is creeping downward under them and the steeper the objects lean, the faster the soil is moving. Sometimes trees compensate for tilt caused by the creeping soil by bending up straight again. There are many examples of such trees on steep hill sides and can be identified by their bent trunks.

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