weathering in desert enviroments

information about the 4 main types of weathering.

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  • high temperatures during the day heat up rock which expands
  • low temperatures at night cause the rock to cool and contract
  • this repeats causing layers of rock too peel off. This is called flaking
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crystal growth

  • high temperatures draw salt water to the surface and it evaporates.
  • salt crystals grow between joints in the rock and leads to block and granular disintegration.
  • this works with insolation weathering to cause flaking of rocks.
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frost -thaw

  • this happens when there are huge differences betwenn day and night time temperatures
  • water trapped in cracks in the rock freezes and expands pushing the rock apart slightly.
  • at daytime when the temperatures rise again the ice melts and the rock contracts again.
  • this repeats until the rock is stressed so much that it snaps.
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  • this is when minerals absorb water molecules which causes them to expand and puts the rocks under large pressure.
  • this causes the rock to shatter.
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