Rock Weathering | Physical Process, Chemical Process & Biological Process

Weathering Of Rocks The formation of soil is synonymous with the process known as weathering, which involves the breakdown of rocks into finer particles, ultimately giving rise to soil.   Processes Involved In Rock Weathering Soil formation, or rock weathering, encompasses three primary processes: Physical Process Chemical Process Biological Process   Physical Processes In Rock […]

Weathering Of Rocks

The formation of soil is synonymous with the process known as weathering, which involves the breakdown of rocks into finer particles, ultimately giving rise to soil.

 

Processes Involved In Rock Weathering

Soil formation, or rock weathering, encompasses three primary processes:

  1. Physical Process
  2. Chemical Process
  3. Biological Process

 

Physical Processes In Rock Weathering

Physical weathering is driven by various agents, including temperature, ice, rainfall, wind, and pressure.

  1. Temperature: Rocks experience expansion and contraction with temperature fluctuations, leading to eventual cracking and the formation of soil over time.
  2. Ice: Water freezing in rock crevices causes expansion and cracking, while subsequent melting transports rock particles to new locations, contributing to soil formation.
  3. Rainfall/Water: The impact of rainfall and the flow of water exert force on rock surfaces, breaking them into fragments that become part of the soil.
  4. Wind: Strong winds carry rock particles, causing collisions and further fragmentation against other rocks or hard surfaces.
  5. Pressure: Elevated pressure on hanging rocks may result in their falling, breaking into smaller particles that contribute to soil formation.

 

Chemical Processes In Rock Weathering

Chemical weathering involves agents such as solution, hydration, hydrolysis, carbonation, and oxidation.

  1. Solution: Soluble minerals in rocks dissolve in water, with the minerals transported to new locations during water flow.
  2. Carbonation: Carbon dioxide reacts with water to form a weak acid, which dissolves and weakens rock minerals.
  3. Hydration: Water reacts with rock minerals, leading to the chemical alteration of the minerals, as seen in the conversion of iron(II) rocks to hydrated rocks.
  4. Hydrolysis: Water reacts with rock minerals, resulting in the formation of a rock different from the original.
  5. Oxidation: Rocks react with atmospheric oxygen, causing them to weaken.

 

Biological Processes In Rock Weathering

Biological weathering involves the activities of plants and animals in breaking down rocks to create soil.

  1. Animals like termites, earthworms, millipedes, and other soil organisms contribute to rock disintegration.
  2. Movement of heavy animals, such as cattle, can cause the disintegration of small rock fragments.
  3. Crop roots penetrating rock cracks contribute to rock expansion and subsequent soil formation.
  4. Human activities during tillage can break small rocks into tiny pieces, adding to the overall process of soil formation.

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