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Earth's Surface: Weathering, Erosion, Deposition, and Soil

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by

A. Nere

on 3 March 2017

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Transcript of Earth's Surface: Weathering, Erosion, Deposition, and Soil

Earth's Surface
The surface of Earth is constantly changing, not only due to Plate Tectonics, but also through the outside processes of
weathering
,
erosion
, and
deposition
Weathering is the breakdown of rock into sediment
Erosion is the movement of sediment
Mechanical (Physical) Weathering - occurs when physical forces break rock into smaller pieces without changing the mineral composition
Agents of Mechanical Weathering
Frost Wedging
- water seeps into cracks and freezes to break rocks apart
Agents of Mechanical Weathering
Agents of Mechanical Weathering
Biological Activity - Tree roots growing between cracks, animals burrowing move rocks closer to surface
Agents of Chemical Weathering
Water - water absorbs gasses such as carbon dioxide and oxygen which react chemically with minerals in rocks to break them down
Agents of Chemical Weathering
Earth's Surface: Weathering, Erosion, Deposition, and Soil
Deposition is the dropping off of sediment
Types of Weathering
Chemical Weathering - the breakdown of rock through chemical changes in which new chemicals are created
Unloading - Large masses of rock are exposed through the uplift and erosion of overlying rocks, releasing pressure and allowing the rocks to expand and separate (exfoliation)
Oxygen - Dissolved oxygen in water reacts with iron in minerals to create rust
Agents of Chemical Weathering
Erosion
Erosion is the movement of sediment
Agents of Erosion
Water - streams, rivers, runoff
Agents of Erosion
Carbon Dioxide - dissolved carbon dioxide (carbonic acid) reacts with rock to quickly break it down
Dissolved Limestone
Grand Canyon
Wind - sandstorms, deflation
Agents of Mechanical Weathering
Abrasion - sand grains carried by wind or water scrape rocks
Agents of Erosion
Glaciers - rivers of ice
Agents of Erosion
Gravity - mass movements (landslides, mudslides)
Deposition
Deposition is the dropping off of sediment
Deposition causes and landforms
Cause: Rivers deposit gravel at the base of a mountain
Landform: Alluvial Fan
Deposition Causes and Landforms
Cause - rivers deposit sand or silt where they meet with large bodies of water
Depositional causes and landforms
Rivers slow down when they hit the base of the continental slope
Depositional causes and landforms
Wind slows down when it hits a barrier
Deposition Causes and Landforms
Cause: A glacier melts
Landforms - deltas, beach
Landform - Submarine Fan
Landform - sand dune
Landform: Morrain
Soil
Soil is formed from the weathering of bedrock and organic activity
Soil
The components of soil are: mineral matter, air, water, organic matter
Soil Formation
Soil forms in horizons (layers). The older the soil, the more developed the horizons, and takes millions of years to form
Factors that affect soil development:
Parent Material - type of bedrock
Time - how long it has developed
Topography - slope of land
Organisms - types of trees, insects
Humus - decayed organic matter (plants and animals)
Horizons - soil layers
Bedrock - underneath all soil is parent material
C - Horizon: weathered bedrock -
large chunks of rock
B - Horizon: Mixture of weathered bedrock and humus - minerals, clay, and organic material
A - Horizon: organic matter (humus) -
decayed plants and animals
O - horizon - organic litter
Soil Erosion
Causes: Farming, deforestation, construction
Soil Erosion - Prevention
Crop Rotation
Dangers: Loss of A - horizon rich in nutrients could lead to famine
Soil is a non-renewable resource
Terracing slopes
Planting Trees
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