Q:

How is weathering similar to erosion?

A:

Quick Answer

Weathering and erosion are similar in that they both work together to change and shape the Earth's surface. While weathering breaks rock and earth down, erosion is the displacement of the pieces and particles of rock and earth.

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Full Answer

Weathering breaks down and degrades the surface of the Earth through mechanical or chemical processes. Mechanical weathering happens when rocks break apart in response to environmental effects. Water is an important weathering agent as it infiltrates rock crevices. If the water carries salt, the build-up of salt begins to crack the rock due to pressure. Water inside rocks can also freeze and crack the rock. Invading tree roots and tunneling animals also cause rocks to crack apart.

Chemical weathering is often the result of water with some acid content, either from the air or soil. This acid dissolves rock, causing it to break or wear away. Limestone is especially prone to dissolution by chemical weathering. Water flow hollows out limestone formations to create tunnels and cave systems.

Water is also an important factor in erosion. The same water flow that seeps into rocks to freeze and crack them or that transports acids to wear away limestone, also carries away the broken or worn pieces.

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Related Questions

  • Q:

    What is the major agent of erosion on the Earth's surface?

    A:

    The major agent responsible for erosion on the Earth's surface is water. Flowing water as a result of rain, melting glaciers, moving streams and rivers erodes surfaces by displacing bits of soil and rocks, which is then moved from its original location to another. Erosion from water can result in valleys and rivers being widened and can even create new canyons over time.

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  • Q:

    What is weathering?

    A:

    Weathering occurs when materials are eroded or broken down by natural means, such as ice, water and wind. Acid, plants and animals can also cause weathering.

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  • Q:

    What is erosion?

    A:

    Erosion is a natural process in which rocks or soil are moved from one location to another by wind or water. Material may move through erosion for distances ranging from a few feet to thousands of miles. Erosion often is most noticeable along shorelines, but it occurs in a variety of areas throughout the world.

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    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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