What are 12 agents of weathering?
gsenviro | Certified Educator
Weathering is the process of breakdown of rocks and soil by a number of agents. Unlike erosion, weathering does not involve the motion of rocks. Various weathering agents are:
- Water: causes hydration of rocks and minerals.
- Gravity: an agent of physical weathering and causes abrasion.
- ice: in cold regions, ice formation and subsequent thawing, changes the gap size between rock fragments, loosens them and causes weathering.
- acids: acid attack is a common cause of weathering. carbonic acid and sulfuric acid are commonly implicated as agents of chemical weathering.
- salts: crystal formation of salts in the gaps and fissures also causes weathering of rocks.
- winds: can shape and move loose fragments, thus progressively weathering the rocks.
- plants: grow into crack and fissures. The expanding roots, uptake of chemicals and release of chemicals into rocks causes weathering.
- animals: burrow animals break down rocks, other animals use other means to cause weathering.
- temperature changes: heating and cooling enhances weathering.
- pressure changes
- gases: such as carbon dioxide, oxygen, sulfur oxide, etc. causes acidification or oxidation of rocks.
- microorganisms: break down, acidify and chemically attack soil and rocks and causes weathering.
Hope this helps.