Weathering is a geological process that occurs slowly but can result in significant changes to the land. Tors, weathering pits and caves, rubble fields and slopes, alcoves, and arches are types of landforms that can be created by weathering.
Weathering is the process by which rocks are deteriorated, broken, or disintegrated into smaller components over time. Weathering can be a result of either mechanical or chemical processes.
Mechanical weathering is sometimes referred to as physical weathering. Mechanical weathering is a result of a physical change in rock. Below, several contributors to mechanical weathering have been identified.
- Wind may be strong enough or strike a rock for such a long period of time that rock is mechanically weathered.
- Frost wedging begins as water seeps between the cracks of rocks. Next, the water freezes and expands. The force of the expanding water may act as a lever and split the crack in the rock. Thus, the rock would be severed in half.
- As the temperature changes, the rock may expand and contract. This may result in fissures and the weathering of the rock.
- Animals may burrow in the rock and cause it to break apart.
Chemical weathering causes rock to undergo a chemical change. During chemical weathering, chemical reactions break down the bonds that hold the rock apart, causing the rock to fall apart into smaller and smaller pieces. Agents of chemical weathering include acid rain, oxidation, hydrolysis, carbonation, or dissolution.