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Weathering and Erosion

Weathering and Erosion. What is weathering?. Weathering is process of breaking down and changing of rock at or near Earth’s surface. The two types of weathering are mechanical and chemical weathering. What is mechanical weathering?.

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Weathering and Erosion

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  1. Weathering and Erosion

  2. What is weathering? • Weatheringis process of breaking down and changing of rock at or near Earth’s surface. • The two types of weathering are mechanical and chemical weathering.

  3. What is mechanical weathering? • Mechanical weathering is the process of physical forces breaking down rocks into smaller and smaller pieces without changing the type of rock. • The causes of mechanical weathering are Frostwedging, Unloading, and Biologicalactivity.

  4. What is frost wedging? • Frostwedging is a rock break-up caused by the expansion of freezing water in cracks and crevices. • The broken down pieces are known as talus.

  5. What is unloading? • Unloading is when large masses of igneous rock are exposed through uplift, and erosion of over lying rocks. • This reduces the pressure on the rock causing the rock layers to break away which is known as exfoliation.

  6. What is biological activity? • Biologicalactivity are the activities of living organisms that cause the breaking up of rock. • Roots of trees break rock apart • Burrowing Animals move rocks to the surface where weathering is more rapid. • Decaying Organisms- produce acid compounds that cause chemical weathering. • Humans- accelerate mechanical weathering through deforestation and blasting in search of minerals or in the creation of new roads.

  7. What is chemical weathering? • Chemical weathering is the process when rock turns into one or more new compounds. • Analogy: • mechanical – tearing paper • chemical – burning paper • Water is the most important agent of chemical weathering. • water absorbs gases from the atmosphere and ground. • these dissolved substances chemically react with various minerals. • Rust - is iron oxide that forms when iron containing objects are exposed to water. • Acidrain – is forms when rain absorbs carbon dioxide as it falls. This acid breaks down rocks.

  8. What are 3 factors that affect the rate of weathering? • Mechanical weather • Breaks rock into smaller pieces, which increasing the surface area of exposed rocks & accelerates chemical weathering by. • Rock Characteristics • Physical characteristics such as cracks can effect the ability for a rock to be penetrated. • Mineral composition increase or decrease rate of weathering. • Climate • controls the frequency of freeze-thaw cycles and affects the rate of mechanical weathering.

  9. What is Erosion? • Erosion is when Earth’s surface is transported by factors such as, mass movement, water, glaciers, & wind. • These factors move soil from one place to another. • The single most important erosional agent on Earth is moving water.

  10. Mass Movements • The transfer of rock and soil down slope due to gravity is called mass movement. • Among the factors that commonly trigger mass movements are • Water: saturation of surface materials with water decreases friction. • Slopes: Steepening of slopes unstabilizes angles • Removal of vegetation: Loosens soil • Earthquakes & Volcanic eruptions: Destabilizes rock

  11. Types of Mass Movements • Geologists classify mass movements based on the kind of material that moves, how it moves, and the speed of movement. • Rockfalls • Slides • Slumps • Flows

  12. Rock fall

  13. Rock slide Nat Geo videoclip

  14. mudflow

  15. Water Erosion • The four types of water erosion are as follows: • the movement of soil by rain splash and its transport by this surface flow. • Rill erosion by concentrated flow in small rivulets. • Gully erosion by runoff scouring large channels (deeper than 1 foot). • Streambank erosion by rivers or streams cutting into banks.

  16. Stream Erosion • Streams generally erode their channels, lifting loose particles by abrasion, grinding, and by dissolving soluble material. • A stream’s bedload is solid material too large to carry in suspension. • Deposition occurs as stream flow slows down • Larger, heavier particles are deposited first

  17. Glacier Erosion • Glaciers mainly erode in two ways: • Plucking is when the bottom layer of a glacier melts and the water seeps into the surrounding rock. This water then refreezes and cracks and splits the rock. These rocks are then incorporated into the glacier. • Abrasion occurs when a glacier made of ice and rock moves over a bedrock surface which is then scraped and smoothed by the glacier. • Glacial drift applies to all sediments deposited by glaciers. • There are two types of glacial drift: till and stratified drift.

  18. Glacier Erosion • Glacial drift applies to all sediments deposited by glaciers. • Till is deposited as the glacier melts and drops its load of rock debris. Ice cannot sort the sediment it carries, therefore till deposits are usually unsorted mixtures made up of many particle sizes. • Stratified drift is sediment laid down by glacial meltwater. It contains particles that are sorted according to size and weight of the debris.

  19. Glacial Till

  20. Wind Erosion • In general, most erosion results from running water, although in deserts, wind erosion is more significant than elsewhere because deserts soils are dry. • Wind erodes in the desert in two ways: deflation and abrasion.

  21. Deflation • Deflation is the lifting and removal of loose particles such as clay and silt. • Deflation can lower elevation of land by a meter or more. • Deflation also results in shallow depressions called blowouts. • Deflation creates a stony surface layer called desert pavement when it removes all the sand and silt and leaves only coarser particles.

  22. Abrasion • Abrasion happens when wind-blown sand cuts and polishes exposed rock surfaces. • Blowing sand can grind away at boulders and smaller rocks, sometimes sandblasting them into odd shapes.

  23. How do humans affect erosion? Erosion is strongly influenced by human activity: • Removal of natural vegetation, such as farming, logging, & construction greatly increase erosion. • Over-steepened slopes due to construction can lead to instability of soil and mass movements.

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