Weathering refers to the process of breaking down rocks on Earth’s surface through rainwater, temperature extremes, biological activity and biological erosion. Erosion refers to transport of rock particles caused by gravity, water flow, wind or ice erosion from one place to another.
Water wears away at earthen material, depositing it in ocean basins. Wind also plays its part, carrying dust and sand that ultimately forms hoodoos like those at Bryce Canyon National Park in Utah.
Physical forces that erode rocks include water, wind and ice tearing away at their surfaces or rocks colliding during movement; no rock can withstand these natural forces which have left us with landmarks such as Grand Canyon in Arizona as well as new landforms like black sand beaches.
Chemical weathering occurs through chemical agents in rain water that cause rocks to disintegrate over time into sand or clay particles, not as rapidly as physical weathering but still present changes to them over time.
Everywhere there is erosion there must also be deposition; this means the erosion-eroded soil and rock being dumped elsewhere; either gradually as in stream deposits or quickly like with landslides – both processes constantly changing the landscape on our planet.
Chemical weathering occurs when minerals react with substances like water, oxygen, salts and acids to form acids that react chemically with minerals to weaken rocks and make them easier to break physically while changing their molecular structures.
Erosion refers to the gradual movement of fragmented rocks and minerals across geological terrain due to wind, water, ice and gravity; eventually they’ll settle as sediment in new locations.
Weathering erosion deposition is evident everywhere we look – from cracked roads and crumbling river banks, to piles of sand on beaches. At times this process happens slowly with mudslides; at other times it can happen quickly with rapid river flow creating canyons across landscapes which is very destructive.
Biochemical weathering refers to the movement of organisms through rocks and soil, for instance when fungi produce chemicals to break apart rock minerals, while algae feed on these broken pieces and release acids that further weather rocks. This process is known as organic weathering.
As biological weathering occurs in nature, you can witness its effects by looking out for plants growing from cracks in rocks. As their roots expand they widen existing cracks further eroding away at their environment.
Burrowing animals such as rabbits and clams create openings in the ground that allow weathering to occur, while humans can trigger it simply by walking over rocks surface – friction caused by shoes breaking them down over time. Burning fossil fuels releases chemicals into the atmosphere that react with acids produced during combustion to accelerate this natural weathering process and wash away rocks and soil particles faster.
Weathering and erosion can be seen all around us; its evidence can be seen when rocks split due to freezing and thawing cycles, when soil is carried by waterways to different regions, or when rocks and sand accumulate at the end of rivers.
Erosion can happen slowly, like when a river meanders along its course and deposits debris as it travels, or quickly like with a mudslide.
While natural rock weathering typically takes millions of years, scientists concerned about carbon dioxide’s buildup in our atmosphere have begun working to accelerate it. They aim to use enhanced weathering as a means of extracting CO2 from the atmosphere by planting Miscanthus x giganteus perennial grass on land previously used to grow climate-polluting corn or soybean crops – hoping to test whether such new land can capture and store carbon efficiently.