Essentials of Geology (10th Edition)

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Essentials of Geology Weathering and Soils Chapter 5 Bryce Canyon, Utah
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The The Rock Rock Cycle Cycle Chapter 6 Chapter 6
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  Earth’s external processes   Weathering  – the physical breakdown  and chemical alteration 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 Figure 5.4 left
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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 Figure 5.5 
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Biological Activity
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   Weathering Chemical Weathering Breaks down rock components and the  internal structures of minerals Most important agent involved in  chemical weathering is water  (responsible for transport of ions and  molecules involved in chemical  processes)
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Weathering Major processes of chemical  weathering Dissolution Aided by small amounts of acid in the water Soluble ions are retained in the  underground water supply Oxidation Any chemical reaction in which a compound  or radical loses electrons
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Weathering Major processes of chemical 
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This note was uploaded on 06/15/2011 for the course GEL 111 taught by Professor Vandevelde during the Spring '11 term at Craven CC.

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Ch05 - EssentialsofGeology WeatheringandSoilsChapter5 Bryce...

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