Slope deposits are common in any inclined relief. So-called cover beds may veil entire landscapes, in which case they are commonly overlooked or confused with soil horizons. This book focuses on these widespread deposits and discusses their properties, genesis, and age mainly in subdued mountains of Central Europe, where to date most research on the matter has been conducted. The ecological consequences of such slope deposits on soils, slope water dynamics, and slope failures are addressed. Finally, transfer of the cover-bed concept to other mid-latitude regions is attempted for the reconstruction of landscape evolution.

This unique compilation, covering several decades of a facies-oriented approach to slope-deposit research, delivers deep insight into the wide field of research on cover beds and encourages researchers all over the world to take an in-depth look at the critical zone as to its possible stratified nature.

Key Features

  • Unique compilation of several decades of slope-deposit research
  • Facies-oriented approach
  • Addresses ecological consequences on soils, slope water dynamics, and slope failures


sedimentologists, petroleum geologists, geomorphologists, paleontologists, soil scientists

Table of Contents

  • Contributors
  • Preface
  • Chapter 1. Introduction
    • 1.1 Scope of the Book
    • 1.2 Structure of the Book
    • 1.3 Terminology
    • 1.4 History of Ideas
    • 1.5 Cover Beds in the Context of the “Earth’s Critical-Zone” Concept
    • Further Reading
  • Chapter 2. Subdued Mountains of Central Europe
    • 2.1 Introduction
    • 2.2 Sedimentary Properties of Layers
    • 2.3 Distribution and Thickness of Layers
    • 2.4 Classification Issues
    • 2.5 Statistical Approach to Layer Properties and Distribution
    • 2.6 Genesis of Cover Beds
    • 2.7 Chronology of Periglacial Cover Beds
    • 2.8 Regional Differences in Cover-Bed Properties and Distribution
    • Further-reading
  • Chapter 3. Influence of Cover Beds on Soils
    • 3.1 Introduction
    • 3.2 An Integrated Soil-Evolution Model for Lithologically Discontinuous Soil
    • 3.3 Pedogenesis in Cover Beds
    • 3.4 Consequences for Soil Properties
    • 3.5 Conclusions
  • Chapter 4. Influence of Cover Beds on Slope Hydrology
    • 4.1 Introduction
    • 4.2 Basic Hypotheses
    • 4.3 Case Studies
    • 4.4 Conclusions
  • Chapter 5. Geotechnical Properties of Cover Beds
    • 5.1 Introduction
    • 5.2 Internal Stability of Cover Beds Derived from the “Infinite Mechanical Slope Model”
    • 5.3 Case Studies
    • 5.4 Perspectives
  • Chapter 6. Transferring the Concept of Cover Beds
    • 6.1 Introduction
    • 6.2 Basins and Lowlands of the Mid-Latitudes
    • 6.3 High Mountains of the Mid-Latitudes
    • 6.4 Conclusions
  • Chapter 7. Relative Dating with Cover Beds
    • 7.1 Introduction
    • 7.2 Case Study at the Swabian Jurassic Escarpment
    • 7.3 Case Studies in the Western USA
    • 7.4 Conclusions
  • Chapt


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© 2013
Elsevier Science
Print ISBN:
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"The book edited by Arno Kleber and Birgit Terhorst provides convincing evidence how interesting slope deposits and their depositional environments are; it can only be hoped that their book will play an important role in bringing this somewhat neglected topic back in focus…the book is a good reading and to include it into the series ‘Developments in Sedimentology’ was an appropriate decision."--Geologos, December 2013***