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What is the difference between erosion and weathering?

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Quick Answer

The difference between erosion and weathering is that erosion involves movement while weathering takes place without movement. Both processes are involved in the decomposition of rocks.

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There are two kinds of weathering, mechanical and chemical. Mechanical weathering breaks rocks into small pieces and fragments. Chemical weathering changes mineral structures inside of rocks. The pieces of rock fall off, but the rock itself stays put during both types of weathering processes. Erosion, which is also called mass wasting, happens when the weathered pieces of rock roll down-slope, along with another agent, such as in the case of a mud slide or moving ice floe.

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  • Q:

    What are facts about erosion?

    A:

    Erosion is a geological process pertaining to the downslope movement of rock particles through the action of gravity. These fragmented materials are then transported from one place to another by environmental agents, such as water, ice and wind.

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  • Q:

    How does erosion occur?

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    Erosion occurs as a result of wind and water moving across earth and picking up part or all of dirt or rocks. By definition, erosion only requires earth to be moved, but in most cases, rocks or land are also worn down or broken into pieces.

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  • Q:

    How does erosion change the earth's surface?

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    Erosion changes the Earth's surface by a process of breaking down and displacing soil and other material caused by wind, rain and other types of weathering. Erosion may cause soil in a region to be loosened, transported and deposited in a new area.

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  • Q:

    How is erosion prevented?

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    There are several ways to prevent erosion, including grassing waterways, conserving tillage, covering crops, managing pastures and fortifying stream and riverbanks. Some erosion control methods, such as fortifying embankments along waterways, take place at the source, while others, such as modifying farming techniques, occur offsite. These techniques help to control and stabilize erosion on short- and long-term bases and are ideally used in combination.

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