Essentials_Ch05 Mod 4-17-03

Essentials_Ch05 Mod 4-17-03 - Weathering and Soils Chapter...

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Weathering and Soils Chapter 5 Essentials of Geology, 8e Stan Hatfield and Ken Pinzke Southwestern Illinois College
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Earth’s external processes ± Weathering – the physical breakdown ( disintegration ) and chemical alteration ( decomposition ) of rock at or near Earth’s surface ± Mass wasting – the transfer of rock and soil downslope under the influence of gravity
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Earth’s external processes ± Erosion – the physical removal of material by mobile agents such as water, wind, ice, or gravity
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Weathering ± Two types of weathering ± Mechanical weathering – breaking of rocks into smaller pieces ± Four types of mechanical weathering Frost wedging – alternate freezing and thawing of water in fractures and cracks promotes the disintegration of rocks
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Frost wedging
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Increase in surface area by mechanical weathering
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Weathering ± Mechanical Weathering continued Unloading – exfoliation of igneous and metamorphic rocks at the Earth’s surface due to a reduction in confining pressure Thermal expansion – alternate expansion and contraction due to heating and cooling Biological activity – disintegration resulting from plants and animals
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Exfoliation of igneous rocks
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Joint-controlled weathering in igneous rocks
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Weathering along joints in sedimentary rocks, Bryce Canyon, Utah
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± Chemical Weathering ± Breaks down rock components and the internal structures of minerals ± Most important agent involved in
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Essentials_Ch05 Mod 4-17-03 - Weathering and Soils Chapter...

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