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Weathering and Weathering and

Erosion Erosion
5
tb
Year Geograpby
What is 'weathering'! What is 'weathering'!
O eatberlng ls tbe breaklng oown ot rocks
lnto smaller pleces. Rocks tbat lle eposeo
to tbe weatber on tbe eartbs surtace.
roken oown pleces ot tbe
eartbs surtace are transporteo
to otber places by wlno, water,
gravlty or tbe sea ano
oeposlteo elsewbere.
gents of weathering! gents of weathering!
ater, lce, alr ano gravlty...are all agents
ot weatberlng!
Tbey all move weatberlng rocks trom one place
to anotber
%5es of
weathering
ecbanlcal Cbemlcal lologlcal
ecbanlcal weatberlng ls tbe pbyslcal breaklng oown
ot rocks lnto smaller pleces. Tbe rocks are not
cbangeo cbemlcally just pbyslcally.
Tbe tour maln types are:
W Freeze-Tbaw Actlon
W Onlon Peellng
W Salt Crystalllsatlon
W Pressure Release

ay...molsture...cracks.
...nlgbt...temperatures..
..treezlng polnt...
10........epano..pressure..
.
oay....temperatures..tbaw...
.contract.....repeateo...
..enlarge....scree
urlng tbe da noisture talls on tbe eposeo rocks
on tbe eartbs surtace. Tbls water may seep oown
lnto tbe cracks ano remaln tbere. At night tbe
ten5eratures orop otten below freezing 5oint
(zero oegrees). As water treezes lt epanos by
appro 10 ln volume/slze. Tbls epanslon causes
tbe cracks to ex5and ano put 5ressure on tbe
rocks. Tbe cracks may travel turtber lnto tbe rocks.
Tbe net da tbe ten5eratures rlse ano tbe lce
thaws. Tbls causes tbe cracks to contract.
However, rocks are sollo pleces tbat cannot
re5eatedI epano ano contract. Tbe rock wlll
eventually sbatter lnto smaller pleces calleo scree
wblcb tall to tbe bottom ot tbe slope.
ayers..outer
layer...beat...epano...nlgbt
.....contract.repeateo.
..aka Ltollatlon..molsture.....
.qulcker
Salt crystalllsatlon
!ressure reIease
Pressure release lnvolves tbe removal ot a great welgbt trom
rocks close to tbe eartbs surtace. Rocks may be covereo ln
layers ot soll ano otber rocks tbat are moveo suooenly oue to
an eartbquake, mass movement or buman lnvolvement
(olgglng/quarrylng etc). |t tbls bappens tbe suooen loss ot
welgbt causes tbe unoerlylng rocks to epano ano crack
causlng tbe break oown ot rocks lnto smaller pleces.
Carbonatlon
Tbls ls a type ot cbemlcal weatberlng wbere lmestone ls
olssolveo by a weak torm ot carbonlc aclo..aclo raln.
Carbon ololoe trom bumans, bouses, tactorles etc rlses lnto
tbe atmospbere ano mles wltb raln oroplets. Carbonlc aclo
ls now tormeo. ben tbls 'aclo raln' talls lt attacks tbe weak
lngreolent ot lmestone..tbe calclum carbonate. Tbe
lmestone slowly olssolves ano creates lanoscapes llke tbe
urren ln Co. Clare wltb tbe cave system below.
Hyoratlon
Some rocks, llke sbale, bave mlnerals tbat
absorb water ano comblne cbemlcally. As
tbls bappens tbe mlnerals grow blgger causlng
tbe rock to sbatter slowly lnto smaller pleces.
Hyorolysls
Hyorolysls lnvolves a cbemlcal reactlon between water ano
mlnerals llke Felospar. Rocks sucb as granlte bave blgb
amounts ot telospar so are partlcularly vulnerable to tbls type
ot weatberlng. Felospar ls turneo lnto Kaolln by byorolysls
wblcb ls a type ot clay. ben tbls bappens tbe Granlte bas a
'sott' mloole ano breaks oown. Kaolln ls useo ln art ano
Cblna as a tlne torm ot clay tor pottery.
Oloatlon
Rocks wblcb contaln lron are vulnerable to tbls
type ot weatberlng wbere tbe lron comblnes wltb
oygen to torm a rust wblcb weakens tbe rock
causlng lt to break oown. Reo sanostone contalns
blgb amounts ot rust ano tberetore ls weatbereo
by oloatlon.
lologlcal weatberlng lnvolves tbe actlons ot plants, anlmals or bumans.
Plants seno tbelr roots oeep lnto cracks searcblng tor water ano nutrlents.
Tbe movement ot tbe roots can cause tbe cracks to enlarge ano tbe rock to
sbatter.
Anlmals olg ano burrow ln ano arouno rocks causlng tbem to break oown
ano tlnally bumans can quarry, olg or move masslve amounts ot rock qulcker
tban otber torms.