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Mechanical and Chemical Weathering

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Tian Wells

on 17 April 2014

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Transcript of Mechanical and Chemical Weathering

Mechanical Weathering
The roots of some plants will weather as they grow.
Especially the roots of strong trees, plants growing in rocky soil will break up the rocks with their growing roots.
Even the strongest rocks can be broken by some trees' roots.
Chemical Weathering
The roots of plants produce weak acids (acids that react to water). These acids can weather limestone and marble easily.
Chemical Weathering
Chemical weathering also requires water. Rainfall provides water needed for chemical changes.
Acid rain is made of water.
Sulfur, carbon, and nitrogen mix with rainwater in the clouds, and create acid rain when it precipitates.
This rain can weather marble and limestone.
Mechanical Weathering
Chemical Weathering
Chemical weathering breaks down the rock through chemical changes. Rocks that undergo chemical changes may have a different mineral composition in the result, unlike mechanical weathering.
Mechanical and Chemical Weathering
More Similarities
Both types of weathering include plants in their processes.
Both types of weathering are supported by wet climates.
Mechanical Weathering
Ice-wedging, also known as frost-wedging, requires water.
Water is pooled inside the crevices of rocks
The water freezes, and expands
The rock splits from the ice expansion
The mechanical weathering process occurs differently than chemical weathering.
This statue has gone through chemical weathering and developed rust, a material different from the original.
Mechanical weathering physically breaks the rocks into smaller pieces. Because of this, the mineral makeup of the new rock is the same as the original.
A tree is weathering a rock.
More Differences
Different temperatures will encourage a different type of weathering to occur.
Mechanical Weathering
Cold temperatures will more likely cause mechanical weathering to take place.
Ice wedging requires the cold for the water to freeze inside rocks.
Cold temperatures cause many things to expand, which will aid mechanical weathering more than hot temperatures.
Chemical Weathering
On the other hand, hot temperatures increase the potential of chemical activity.
Warm temperatures also make evaporation possible, a key step to creating acid rain.
Heat quickens the rate at which the particles are moving, thus making the bonds between particles easy to break and reconnect to different ones, all the while increasing the chemical action.
The water weathers the rocks as it flows.
The outcome will still be the same as the original rock.
By Tian Wells
Mechanical Weathering:
Chemical Weathering:
Here are some elements that cause chemical weathering:
carbon dioxide
living organisms
acid rain
Here are some types of mechanical weathering:
Ice or frost wedging
mechanical exfoliation (the release of pressure above a rock)
the growth of plants
animals (animals that burrow in the ground will sift soil and break up rocks)
a process that physically breaks rocks apart
a process that breaks rocks apart through chemical changes.
Key Vocabulary
the gradual process of wearing away and breaking down rocks
: where ice, wind, water, gravity, or waves wear or rub away material by friction
: a mechanical weathering process which removes overlying layers and pressure of rock and causes the underlying layers to be weathered in a dome shape
: a chemical change in which a substance combines with oxygen, forming rust
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