Weathering in the Desert

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  • Created by: yott33
  • Created on: 31-03-16 20:00
What is mechanical weathering?
Mechanical weathering is the type of weathering that results from the extremes of temperature
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Describe the extremes of temperature
Daytime - air temp. may rise to above 40 degrees but surface layers can get much hotter (up to 80 degrees). Night time - temp. fall rapidly, usually to below 10 degrees.
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Explain exfoliation
The rock surface is heated to a much higher level than the interior, leading to stresses being set up within the rock. Leads to cracking that runs parallel to the surface. Surface layers then peel off.
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Explain granular disintegration
Occurs where changes in temperature causes different minerals within a rock to expand and contract and different rates. Leads to breakdown of rock. Common in granites.
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Explain shattering
Some rocks that have homogenous structures may shatter as a result of constant expansion and contraction
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Explain block separation
Happens to rocks jointed with prominent bedding planes. The surfaces break down into block structures along these lines of weakness.
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Does moisture need to be present for most mechanical weathering in deserts?
Yes
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How does chemical weathering occur?
Occurs in various ways - largely involves presence of salts deposited from rainfall/brought to surface by capillary action
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Explain crystal growth
Dissolved salts in water in cracks and joints form crystals as water evaporates - further heating causes crystals to expand - rocks being prised apart - pieces fall off.
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Explain hydration
Certain rocks containing salt minerals are capable of absorbing water into their structure, causing them to swell and become vulnerable to future break.
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Explain solution
Some rocks are soluble in water and dissolve when water is applied to them.
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Other cards in this set

Card 2

Front

Describe the extremes of temperature

Back

Daytime - air temp. may rise to above 40 degrees but surface layers can get much hotter (up to 80 degrees). Night time - temp. fall rapidly, usually to below 10 degrees.

Card 3

Front

Explain exfoliation

Back

Preview of the front of card 3

Card 4

Front

Explain granular disintegration

Back

Preview of the front of card 4

Card 5

Front

Explain shattering

Back

Preview of the front of card 5
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