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Weathering and Erosion
Transcript of Weathering and Erosion
The process by which natural forces break down rocks.
Where the breaking up of rock is caused by physical forces.
The breakdown of rocks by chemical reactions that change the rocks' makeup or composition. (Water is the main cause of chemical weathering.)
Rocks can be weathered through mechanical weathering and chemical weathering.
Ice Wedging - the process at which ice causes the breaking down of rock.
Exfoliation - the process at which sheets or layers of rock are broken off. Usually occurs because of pressure release.
Abrasion - The process of wearing down rock through friction, the rubbing of one rock against another.
Root wedging - Plants, trees, and bushes can take root within cracks of rocks and break them apart.
Dissolution - certain minerals within rocks break down when coming into contact with slightly acidic water.
Oxidation - When oxygen and water mix it creates the perfect conditions to create rust.
Many common minerals contain iron which reacts with water and oxygen over time to create rust.
When these minerals react with oxygen and water, they become iron oxides.
Rates of Weathering
The rate at which a rock weathers depends on three things:
The natural process in which weathered particles are picked up and moved from one place to another.
The part of the erosion process in which sediment is placed in a new location, or deposited, is called deposition
Erosion of weathered rock is driven by the movement of water, wind, and ice; as well as the force of gravity.
Water - Rivers, oceans, and lakes all contribute to the movement and deposition of particles.
Wind - Strong winds can lift and carry small particles for long distances.
Ice - Transports sediment underneath the moving glacier.
The downhill movement of masses of rock and soil due to the forces of gravity.
Mass wasting events can occur suddenly or happen over a gradual period of time.
A way to identify mass wasting is by looking at the type of material that is moved and the speed of its movement.
If a soil/rocky material is moving rapidly down a slope it is called a landslide.
Movements of rock are described as slides or rock falls.
Movements of mud or soil are described as mudflows.
There is a distinct difference between the terms “weathering” and “erosion”.
Weathering is the process by which natural processes break down rocks into smaller pieces
Erosion is the process in which sediment is picked up and moved from one place to another
These are the processes responsible for breaking down rock, transporting it, and depositing it where new sedimentary rocks form
Weathering and erosion are the main forces responsible for forming the Grand Canyon