Q:

What factors affect the rate of weathering?

A:

The factors that affect the rate of weathering are humidity, the composition of rocks, high temperatures, vegetation and wind. In a hot and wet environment, weathering tends to be rapid. In dry climates, weathering is slower.

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Sedimentary rocks are soft and break down quickly. Metamorphic rocks, such as slate and marble, tend to weather slowly. Granite and basalt rocks are hard and take longer to degrade when exposed to the agents of weathering.

Rainfall affects weathering as running water tends to break down rocks quickly. When the land is covered by vegetation, it does not weather quickly. Rocks exposed directly to heat, wind and water tend to weather very quickly.

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Related Questions

  • Q:

    What is biological weathering?

    A:

    Biological weathering is the effect that living organisms, such as plants and animals, have on rocks and other inanimate objects. This phenomena happens due to the molecular breakdown of minerals in the rock. When biological weathering occurs, the living organism breaks down the rock or other nonliving object through either mechanical or chemical erosion or the use of both.

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  • Q:

    What is mechanical weathering?

    A:

    Mechanical weathering is the erosion of rock caused by physical processes. Extreme temperature changes and constant exposure to water or air are common causes of mechanical weathering.

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  • Q:

    How does weathering affect limestone?

    A:

    Weathering creates underground caves and passages in limestone in addition to depressions and other unusual dips and grooves on the surface. Karst is landscape formed from the weathering of limestone.

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  • Q:

    What are types of weathering?

    A:

    Weathering refers to the process of wearing away, dissolving or breaking down rocks that are found near or at the surface of the Earth. National Geographic notes three types of weathering processes: mechanical, chemical and biological or organic.

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