Weathering erosion and soil formation
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Weathering, Erosion and Soil Formation. What is weathering?. Weathering is the process by which rock materials are broken down. Mechanical Weathering. Chemical Weathering. The process by which rocks break down as a result of chemical reactions. Agents: Water Weak acids Air.

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Weathering is the process by which rock materials are broken down
Weathering is the process by which rock materials are broken down

Mechanical Weathering

Chemical Weathering

The process by which rocks break down as a result of chemical reactions.

Agents:

Water

Weak acids

Air

  • The breakdown of rock into smaller pieces by using physical forces.

  • Agents:

  • Ice

  • Water

  • Wind

  • Gravity

  • Plants

  • Animals


ICE

  • Frost Action: the alternate freezing and thawing of soil and rock.

  • Ice wedging: when water seeps into cracks during warm weather, then freezes and expands during cold weather.

  • The ice pushes against the sides of the crack, causing the crack to widen.


Abrasion
Abrasion

  • Abrasion is the grinding and wearing away of rock surfaces through the mechanical action of other rock or sand particles.

  • There are three forms of abrasive weathering:

  • Water

  • Wind

  • Gravity


Water
Water

  • Water is the most powerful agent of mechanical weathering.

  • When rocks and pebbles roll along the bottom of a swiftly flowing bodies of water, they bump and scrape each other.

  • These rocks/pebbles eventually become smaller, rounder, smoother as a result of this friction


Wind

  • When wind blows sand and silt against exposed rock, the sand will wear away the rock’s surface.

  • These rocks have been shaped by blowing sand.

  • These rocks are called ventrifacts


Gravity
Gravity

  • Abrasion also happens when rocks fall on one another.

  • Rocks grind against each other as they tumble, creating smaller and smaller rocks.


Plants
Plants

  • Plants often send their roots into to an existing crack in a rock.

  • As the plant grows, the expanding root becomes so strong that the crack widens and the rock splits!


Animals
Animals

  • Animals can cause a lot of weathering!

    • Burrowing

      • worms

      • Ants

      • Mice

      • Coyotes

      • rabbits

    • Burrowing moves soil and exposes fresh surfaces to weathering

    • Some types of tropical worms can move an estimated 100 metric tons of soil per acre in a year.


Review
Review

  • Name three things that can cause abrasion

  • Wind

  • Water

  • Gravity

  • What is the most powerful agent of weathering?

  • Water

  • Describe the similarity of how ice and tree roots mechanically weather rock

  • Both ice and tree roots can force cracks in rocks to expand


Chemical weathering
Chemical Weathering

  • The process by which rocks break down as a result of chemicalreactions is called chemical weathering.

    • Common agents

      • Water

      • Weak acids

      • Air


Water1
Water

  • Over thousands of years, water can dissolve even the hardest rocks

  • Usually it is by way of rain, sleet or snow with a high acid content


Acid

  • Acid can chemically weather rocks in different ways

  • Acid precipitation

  • Acids in groundwater

  • Acids in living things


Acid precipitation
Acid precipitation

  • Rain, sleet or snow that that contains a high concentration of acids is called acid precipitation.

  • All precipitation is naturally acidic, but acid precipitation has higher levels of acid.

  • This higher level of acidity can lead to very rapid weathering

  • Causes:

  • Volcanoes

  • Air pollution (burning fossil fuels)


Acids in groundwater
Acids in groundwater

  • Some acids, such as carbonic and sulfuric acids occur naturally in groundwater.

  • If these acids come in contact with certain rocks, such as limestone, a chemical reaction occurs.

  • Over a long period of time, the limestone dissolves, forming caverns

  • Stalactites

  • Stalagmites


Acids in living things
Acids in living things

  • Lichens, which consist of fungi and algae living together, produce acids that slowly break down rock.


Air

  • Oxygen in the air reacts with elements, such as iron, to chemically weather objects

  • Called oxidation

  • Water is not necessary, but speeds up the process

  • RUST



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