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07 Surface Processes

07 Surface Processes - They are capable of accelerating...

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(G) Surface Processes Mechanical weathering Physical breakup or disintegration of rocks without changes in their composition Involves the application of physical force or stress as well as removal (e.g. exfoliation) The principal effect of mechanical weathering is the breakup of large chunks of rock into smaller ones; the total exposed surface area of the particles is increased Chemical weathering The breakdown or decomposition of minerals by chemical reactions A rock’s tendency to weather chemically is determined by its mineralogical composition Climate plays a major role in the intensity of chemical weathering; warmer climate accelerates chemical weathering The rates of chemical and mechanical weathering are interrelated.
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Unformatted text preview: They are capable of accelerating each other. • Biotic weathering • The soil profile: Layer Characteristics O Horizon A Horizon (Eluvial) Consists of the most intensively weathered rock material Most exposed to surface processes Contains most of the organic remains Zone of leaching: precipitation infiltrates and dissolve soluble minerals B Horizon (Illuvial) Zone of accumulation: minerals leached from the A Horizon accumulate here Coarse-grained than the A Horizon as it is protected from surface processes C Horizon (Regolith) Consisting of very coarsely broken-up bedrock...
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