NORTH DAKOTA STATE UNIVERSITY - FARGO, N D
Creep is the imperceptibly slow downslope movement of soil and near-surface rock materials. As is implied by this definition, the process is generally not directly observed. Instead, one can often best discern creep through the movement or response of objects affected by the process.
Fenceposts, being shallowly-seated objects, are particularly prone to creep. As can be seen in this photo, fenceposts have tilted downslope under creep almost to a horizontal position. Small trees on this slope likewise show the influence of creep: as their trunks are progressively tilted over by creep, their new growth responds phototropically back upward toward the Sun, leading to a curved appearance of the trunk.
This photograph was taken along the Sheyenne River valley south of Valley City, N.D., in a region where creep and slump processes are highly evident.