Besides they are only physical phenomena. The first step is the knowledge of the rules that stand behind them.
The most known classification of landslides types was proposed by Cruden & Varnes (1996).
Soil mass movements can be roughly classified by their type of movement in:
Rock, debris, earth or mud flows
A clear and complete classification can be found here (Wikipedia).
The analysis of equilibrium conditions allows, under some hypothesis, to study almost all types of landslides. The force which plays the most important role in the stability is the resultant of all the shear stresses, which means the shear force. If a soil mass is in static equilibrium we can evaluate a Factor of Safety F which will tell us the level of safety of the analysed mass. When a soil mass has a Factor of Safety equal to 1,0 this tells us that the landslide is triggered or it is going to be. You can deepen the topic here (Wikipedia).
Soil masses destabilization are caused by natural forces, human or animal activities. The most common and influencing causes of soil masses destabilization are:
Increase in groundwater level or water pressures
Decay of soil properties
Excavations at the toe of the slope
To read a more detailed explanation see here (Wikipedia).
Publications list concerning the 'Infinite slope model' at this page.
Find all scientific articles about landslides analysis at Scopus.com.