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What is it called for the part of a hill where it discontinuously gets steeper? If you climbing an easy slope and encounter a new steeper slope (such as formed by a rocky hill and accompanying soil slopes leading up to it), is this change called anything?

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  • $\begingroup$ Cliff, if steep enough? $\endgroup$ – Gimelist Apr 25 at 2:04
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As far as I am aware there is no single term to describe the sudden change in the gradient of a slope. Personally I would describe it simply as a sudden increase in slope. However there are many words to describe the landforms that occur when gradient sharply increase.

Terms such as cliff, escarpment and mountainside all describe the steep landform as whole. Whereas terms such as flank or face describe the side of the hill only with a steep gradient.

You might find this link particularly helpful: https://www.macmillandictionary.com/thesaurus-category/british/parts-and-features-of-mountains-hills-and-cliffs

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  • $\begingroup$ meeting the flank best name $\endgroup$ – Alice Monday Apr 28 at 21:54
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It's called a 'break in slope' or a 'break of slope'.

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  • $\begingroup$ I believe this answer and to an extent, Matt's answer are both correct. I have encountered slope break in describing a significant slope change when on a convex surface, such as a plateau to escarpment, but never on a significant slope change on a concave surface, such as a rock face to talus fan. $\endgroup$ – Friddy May 1 at 18:11
  • $\begingroup$ My old man was an Oregon forester and surveyor. His term for what you describe was the "toe" of the slope. $\endgroup$ – Stu Smith May 4 at 4:09

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