Acids chemically react with rock and induce chemical reactions that break rocks apart into smaller pieces. Therefore, rock is chemically weathered by acids.
Weathering is the process by which rocks are deteriorated, broken, or disintegrated into smaller components over time. Unlike erosion, weathering does not include the transportation of the rock nor of the smaller rock pieces that are formed. 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 on the rock. The following list are some contributors to mechanical weathering.
- 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 rock further.
- As the temperature changes, the rock may expand and contract. This may result in fissures to occur 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.