AQA GCSE Geography A rocks, resources and scenery revision notes

A set of revision notes for the forthcoming exam.

Hope they are useful! 

Going to upload similar revision pages for restless earth, tourism, population, changing urban environments and the coastal zone.

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Page 1

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How were rocks formed?
What is the geological timescale?
Geological timescale is the period of geological time since life became abundant 542 million years
ago, which geologists have divided into eras and periods. There are three main eras: Cenozoic,
Mesozoic and Paleozoic.

The three main rocks are:

Granite (formed 280…

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The rock cycle

What is weathering and how does it operate?
What is weathering?
Weathering is the disintegration or decay of rocks in their original place oat or close to the ground

Types of weathering
1. Mechanical weathering ­ also known as physical weathering, this involves the disintegration

Page 3

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3. Biological weathering ­ this involves the action of flora and fauna. Plant roots are effective a t
growing and expanding in cracks in the rocks. Rabbits can burrow into weak rocks e.g. sand.

Mechanical weathering
Freeze thaw weathering

Commonly associated with large fluctuations in temperature,
which occur partially…

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The weathering of limestone and chalk by rainwater. It affects rocks made of calcium carbonate.

What are the characteristics of granite
The formation and distribution of granite
Granite is an intrusive igneous rock that was formed deep underground. Following uplift and the
erosion of the overlaying rocks the…

Page 5

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Granit contains joints. Joints form when the granite cooled and contracted. Horizontal joints in granite
resulted from pressure release as the overlying rocks were moved by erosion. The rock expanded as
the pressure was released, causing these cracks to form parallel to the ground surface. The presence
of these joints…

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What are the characteristics of chalk and clay
Chalk and clay are two examples of sedimentary rocks. They were both formed under the sea and
then uplifted by tectonic activity to form rocks.

Characteristics of chalk and clay
Chalk is a permeable rock meaning there are few rivers around…

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The characteristics of carboniferous limestone
Carboniferous limestone is a tough and resistant rock. It forms upland areas e.g. Pennine Hills and
Mendips. When exposed to coast, as in some parts of south Wales, if forms dramatically towering

Despite being physically strong it is chemically weak. As it is composed…

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An example is Malham.

Swallow holes:

An enlarged joint into which water falls.
These happen when a stream dissolves a joint in
the limestone and then flows down in.
An example is Gaping Gill.

Dry valleys:

A valley formed by a river in a wetter period but
now with no…

Page 9

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Underground caverns:

A large underground cave.
These develop when water flows underground
through joints or swallow holes and then weathers
and erodes the limestone beneath. Eventually
large cave systems can form.
An example is Gaping Gill.


An icicle-like calcite feature hanging down from a
cavern roof.
These are formed…

Page 10

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Kitchen surfaces. pastures and reservoirs have Granite forms in
harsh been created in wild moorland.
Kaolin (china clay) environmental steep valleys e.g.
originated from conditions. Burrator Attractive for
granite. Reservoir which outdoor activities
This is because supplies e.g. walking, bird
granite forms in Plymouths water. watching, biking
upland areas and…




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