What human activities can increase the rate of weathering?

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lynn30k's profile pic

lynn30k | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator

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Humans can affect weathering (breaking down of rock/soil) in several ways.  Humans cause increases in acid rain and pollution, which increase the amount of weathering agents in the air and water, and then on land.  Humans also affect the rate of weathering/erosion by paving over large portions of land, so that normal rain run-off is changed in direction and amount, to places where it was previously not a problem. Other activities such as strip-mining and agriculture can affect the ability of the land to absorb rain, increase erosion and run-off, and increase chemicals in the groundwater.

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richgirl967 | Student, Grade 9 | eNotes Newbie

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Humans may cause pollution by burning coal and gasoline, which puts sulfur dioxice and nitric oxides in our air that can become acidic, which will percepitate into sulfuric and nitric acids, which would technically eat away some softer rocks. Sometimes improper cutting, bombing, and supporting of hills creat landslides, which is caused by weathering. Humans also affect rates of weathering when paving over portions of lands, which causes normal rain run offs to flow elsewhere where it was previously not affected. 

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mweisenberger | eNotes Newbie

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the process of weathering is a natural occurrence, but humans can contribute to engage the rate at which material weathers. one of the biggest factors humans have on the rate of weathering in air pollution. when we burn solids and liquids such as oil, gas, or coal they turn into gas that rises into our atmosphere. when the polluted air molecules combined with sunlight and moisture it creates aid rain. the acid rain will eventually fall back down the surface of the earth creating a chemical weathering reaction.

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