Q:

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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Full Answer

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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Related Questions

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    What are some causes of physical weathering?

    A:

    A few causes of physical weathering, also known as mechanical weathering, are swiftly moving water, ice and growing plants. Physical weathering refers to the process that breaks rock structures apart but does not change their chemical composition.

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  • Q:

    What are the four types of weathering?

    A:

    The four main types of weathering include freeze-thaw, exfoliation, chemical and biological weathering. Weathering involves the process of rock breaking down into soil via various physical, biological and chemical reactions.

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    How does freeze-thaw weathering work?

    A:

    Freeze-thaw weathering, also known as frost weathering, is caused by water working its way deep into cracks in rock faces, expanding as it freezes and then driving deeper into the rock when it melts. Over time, this process can work large chunks of stone loose from rock faces and send the debris tumbling downhill into large scree piles.

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  • Q:

    What does "physical weathering" mean?

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    Physical weathering, also called mechanical weathering, refers to the process of breaking rocks apart while retaining their chemical composition, according to the American Geosciences Institute. It means that rocks slowly wear away due to physical changes, such as temperature changes, freezing and thawing, wind, rain and waves, explains the BBC.

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