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Fundamentals of Physical Geography

2nd Edition
James Petersen
ISBN: 9781133606536

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BuyFindarrow_forward

Fundamentals of Physical Geography

2nd Edition
James Petersen
ISBN: 9781133606536
Textbook Problem

What are four processes involving expansion and contraction that contribute to rock weathering?

To determine

The four processes that contribute to rock weathering including expansion and contraction.

Explanation

The extreme diurnal changes in temperatures, which are common in deserts, rocks weather physically by the process of expansion and contraction that result from heating and cooling. The wide occurrence of split rocks in arid regions can be considered as the evidence of its effectiveness. Mechanical splitting of rocks occurs due to the alternative heating and cooling. The removal of individual grains of minerals from a rock also occurs due to the differential thermal expansion and contraction of individual mineral grains in coarse crystalline rock.

Breakage of rocks occurs due to freeze-thaw weathering following the freezing of water in fractures and small cracks in rocks. It is usually associated with the areas that are exposed to various diurnal freeze-thaw cycles. Freeze-thaw weathering is also known as frost weathering or ice wedging. The freezing of water results in its expansion in volume up to 9%, and it leads to the exertion of high pressure on the walls and bottom of the crack. As a result, it widens and leads to the eventual breaking of rock.

Similar to freeze-thaw weathering, the formation of salt crystals in the cracks, fractures, and other void spaces in rocks leads to the physical disintegration of rock...

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