The differing parts of a slope. These may be convex, straight, or concave; the shape of a slope is an expression of the predominant processes acting on it.
Convex slope elements are usually gentle, generally at the top of a slope, and formed by soil creep and rainsplash. Downslope from the convex segment, there may be a straight slope element of bare rock. This is the free face (fall face). Other straight slopes develop where mass movement is the dominant geomorphological process. Slopes with shallow debris and steep slopes undercut by rivers or waves both tend to have straight segments; talus slopes are often straight. Concave slope elements are either due to increased water erosion downslope or to larger pieces of debris rolling further than the rest. Compound slope profiles may exhibit some or all of these segments and may show a repetition of certain segments.