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Weathering By Lisa Bolin. Weathering and Erosion This is a monument called Cleopatra’s Needle. It was carved in Egypt around 1450B.C. The sides are carved.

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Presentation on theme: "Weathering By Lisa Bolin. Weathering and Erosion This is a monument called Cleopatra’s Needle. It was carved in Egypt around 1450B.C. The sides are carved."— Presentation transcript:

1 Weathering By Lisa Bolin

2 Weathering and Erosion This is a monument called Cleopatra’s Needle. It was carved in Egypt around 1450B.C. The sides are carved with hieroglyphs, the writing of ancient Egypt. It stood in the dry, hot Egyptian desert for over 3000 years. During that time, the hieroglyphs remained distinct.

3 Weathering In 1800, the monument was moved to New York City. Almost immediately, the hieroglyphs began to fade. In only a few years in the wet and variable climate of New York, the Egyptian writing became indistinct!

4 Cleopatra’s Needle was carved from granite, a hard tough, crystalline rock. Although it is tough, granite is changed by the atmosphere. Some of the minerals that make up granite change to clay. Chips and flakes of minerals break away from the granite surface.

5 Weathering Weathering is simply the chemical and/or physical breakdown of a rock material-- weathering involves specific processes acting on rock materials at or near the surface of the Earth

6 Weathering In other rocks, minerals may slowly dissolve. Eventually the surface of ALL rocks crumbles, or weathers.

7 Types of Weathering Physical Weathering( mechanical) –Takes place when rock is split or broken into smaller pieces of the same material without changing its composition. Example: Breaking of a rock cliff into boulders and pebbles

8 Weathering Physical Common weathering processes: –Frost action –Wetting and drying –Action of plants and animals –Loss of overlying rock and soil

9 Types of Weathering Chemical (decomposition) –takes place when the rock’s minerals are changed into different substances. –Water and water vapor are important agents of chemical weathering. Example: Formation of clay minerals from feldspar

10 Types of Weathering The two processes of weathering, mechanical and chemical seldom occur alone! Since water vapor is present in the air everywhere means that chemical weathering occurs everywhere.

11 Types of Mechanical Weathering Frost action or Ice Wedging: –Water takes up about 10% more space when it freezes. –This expansion puts great pressure on the walls of a container. –Water held in the cracks of rocks wedges the rock apart when it freezes. –Often occurs in places where temperatures vary from below the freezing point of water to above the freezing point.

12 Types of Mechanical Weathering Frost action or Ice Wedging con’t Occurs mostly in porous rocks and rocks with cracks in them –Bare mountaintops are especially subject to ice wedging.

13 Types of Mechanical Weathering Frost action or Ice Wedging causes: –Vast fields of large, sharp-cornered boulders –Potholes on streets and highways

14 Types of Mechanical Weathering Repeated wetted and drying Especially effective at breaking up rocks that contain clay. Clays swell up when wet and shrink when dry. Causes rocks that contain clay, such as shale, to fall apart.

15 Types of Mechanical Weathering Action of plants and animals: –Lichens and mosses grow on rocks They wedge their tiny roots into spores and crevices. When the roots grow, the rock splits. Action of plants and animals: –Lichens and mosses grow on rocks They wedge their tiny roots into spores and crevices. When the roots grow, the rock splits. Action of plants and animals: –Lichens and mosses grow on rocks They wedge their tiny roots into spores and crevices. When the roots grow, the rock splits.

16 Types of Mechanical Weathering

17 Action of plants and animals: –Larger trees and shrubs may grow in the cracks of boulders. –Ants, earthworms, rabbits, woodchucks, and other animals dig holes in the soil. These holes allow air and water to reach the bedrock and weather it.

18 Types of Mechanical Weathering

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20 Loss of Overlying Rock and Soil –Sheet jointing on a granite outcrop produces cracks in the rock, thereby exposing more of the rock surface to weathering.

21 Types of Mechanical Weathering Granite exfoliation

22 Types of Chemical Weathering Results mainly from the action of rainwater, oxygen, carbon dioxide, and acids of plant decay.

23 Agents of Chemical Weathering

24 The chemical reaction of water with other substances is called hydrolysis. Common materials undergoing hydrolysis: –Feldspar – –Hornblende –Augite

25 Agents of Chemical Weathering The chemical reaction of oxygen with other substances is called oxidation. –Iron-bearing minerals are the ones most easily attacked by oxygen. –Examples: Magnetite Pyrite Dark-colored ferromagnesian silicates

26 Agents of Chemical Weathering Oxidation of these minerals results in kinds of rust, or iron oxides.

27 Agents of Chemical Weathering Carbon dioxide dissolves easily in water. –It forms a weak acid called carbonic acid –This is the same compound that is in carbonated drinks. –Attacks many common minerals such as feldspar, hornblende, augite and biotite mica. –The original mineral is changed into a clay mineral.

28 Agents of Chemical Weathering Has the greatest effect on calcite than any other mineral. It dissolves it completely, with no clay left over.

29 Agents of Chemical Weathering Hollows out great caverns in limestone bedrock.

30 Agents of Chemical Weathering Acids are formed from the decay of plants and animals. These acids are dissolved by rainwater and carried through the ground to the bedrock.

31 Agents of Chemical Weathering Carbon dioxide and sulfur compounds released by industries unite with water in the atmosphere to form acid rain. Increasing amounts of acid rain in the environment increase the rate of chemical weathering.

32 Agents of Chemical Weathering

33 Chemical Weathering Occurs most quickly at the corners and edges of rock outcrops and boulders. These areas are more exposed to chemicals. This process rounds the rock and is called spheroidal weathering. Boulders rounded this way are called spheroidal boulders


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