This Weathering And Erosion Game Quiz Online is for students in 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th grades. Learn about the process through which rocks are broken down and transported. Rocks are broken down through weathering. There are two types of weathering: physical and chemical weathering. The former is the shattering of rocks through processes that don't change its chemical composition. The later meanwhile is the breakdown of rocks through chemical means. When rocks are weakended through chemical interaction, they easily break apart. Another thing that happens to rocks is erosion through agents like wind and water. They transport broken rock particles far away from where they were carried. Learn both phenomena in the quiz game below. Great classroom resource.
Weathering is the process by which rock is broken down into smaller pieces. It can occur naturally. In some areas, the weathering process is caused by plants. These plants have roots and acids that can mechanically and chemically break down the rock. Once the rock is weakened, it is ready for erosion.
Both mechanical and chemical weathering affect rocks as they are repeatedly wetted and dried. In warm and humid environments, chemical weathering dominates, while in cold climates, mechanical weathering processes predominate. Fire, for example, has similar effects on the breakdown of rocks at the surface. These processes transform rocks into their component parts and create a different landscape. When they occur together, weathering and erosion have remarkable effects on landscapes.
While most weathering and erosion processes are slow, the rate at which they occur depends on the type of material being eroded. Softer rock erodes faster than harder rock. The Grand Canyon, for example, was formed by the Colorado River over millions of years. These natural processes form the basis for modern geologic formations and are critical in shaping our landscapes.
Although weathering and erosion occur naturally, humans can accelerate the process. We plow the soil for agriculture, contributing to erosion as well. As a result, the soil holds together less and less and becomes more susceptible to runoff. Eventually, landslides and flooding occur because the water cannot be absorbed by the soil.
One of the most important biogeochemical processes affecting Earth's landscapes is weathering. These processes control the transfer of carbon and nutrients to sedimentary rocks and alter atmospheric CO2 concentrations. Although scientists are not entirely sure what causes weathering, they have suspected that climate is an important factor. If the climate changes too quickly, it can affect the ability of mountains to store and release greenhouse gasses. Thus, rapid uplift may reduce the impact of mountains on climate.
In addition, climate affects weathering and erosion. The rate of weathering is affected by precipitation, heat, and humidity. Climates with high humidity and warm temperatures accelerate this process. There is more biological activity in warm and humid climates than in dry and cold climates. Therefore, biological weathering is faster in such environments. Consequently, the rate of weathering and erosion may be increased. In addition, climate-induced changes in land cover alter the rate of soil erosion.
Heavy rainfall will shift from summer to fall. Increasing sunshine duration and precipitation erosivity will also lead to soil degradation. In addition, climate-related changes in precipitation will lead to a significant increase in soil loss. Although climate changes are generally negative, they still lead to some positive changes in soil.
Water plays a vital role in the processes of weathering and erosion. Rainwater can enter cracks in rocks, sidewalks, and other materials, and freeze in colder months. This causes the rocks to deteriorate, releasing more resistant minerals from the rock. When temperatures rise, chemical reactions begin more quickly. Every 10oC increase in the average temperature doubles the rate. Added water allows for more chemical reactions to occur and speeds up mechanical weathering. More water results in more chemical weathering, which is why water is a significant contributor to both chemical and mechanical weathering.
As mentioned, erosion occurs naturally and is exacerbated by human activities. Humans, for example, remove trees and prairies to plant crops. As a result, soil begins to wash away and floods occur. In addition, the soil becomes softer, which results in higher rates of landslides and flooding. Moreover, water that cannot soak into the soil is more likely to wash away, leading to higher rates of erosion.
Another way that water affects weathering is by reducing the strength of solid rock. Even rocks with fractures, bedding planes, or clay-bearing zones can be reduced or destroyed by water. In the case of roads, holes are often drilled into rock slopes to relieve pressure. Moreover, water can significantly increase the mass of material on a slope, thereby increasing the gravitational force on it.
Ice, especially in colder climates, contributes to weathering and erosion by shifting portions of the earth to other locations. Wind and water cause rocks to move and crack, and are a strong transportation factor. Plants and animals also trample over the land and break rocks. So the ice makes these elements even more susceptible to erosion. In addition, ice causes mudslides, erosion, and flooding.
Ice wedging is another form of mechanical weathering. In areas with rapid temperature cycles, ice breaks up large amounts of rock. This type of weathering is common in the polar regions and mid-latitudes of the Earth. Ice also affects rock formations through friction and impact. In addition, animals and large plants often burrow into rocks and cause weathering.
While these processes are important to the environment, they can also be harmful to humans and the environment. Soil that is washed away can carry pollutants into the water supply. In contrast, deposition deposits parts of the soil in a different location. These pieces do not completely disappear, but they can be deposited hundreds or thousands of miles away. For this reason, it is important to understand how ice can cause weathering and erosion.
Conservation tillage methods have been shown to reduce soil erosion, while no-till and conventional tillage methods maintain soil water content. Conservation tillage, on the other hand, leaves 30 percent of planted crop residue in the field. Both methods have their advantages and disadvantages. Conservation tillage reduces sediment loss by about eighty percent, while conventional tillage has a greater impact on soil quality.
Tillage can affect crop development and yield. Topsoil loss inhibits or stops plant growth. In addition, plant growth on slopes and hills is affected and they are more susceptible to stress. Tillage can also change the structure of the soil, increasing its erodibility and exposing it to further water erosion. Soil erosion also affects crop development and yield.
Wind is a powerful force that erodes a variety of materials, from the earth and the rock above it to the rocks and soil itself. The wind can also shape a rock or layer by deforming the particles that remain on the surface. Wind erosion has been known to produce ventifacts, such as chalk formations in the White Desert in Egypt. In the past, wind erosion was responsible for the destruction of millions of tons of topsoil in the "Dust Bowls" in the United States. Thousands of people fled the dust bowls and many were forced to move to other parts of the country.
Wind also accelerates the process of erosion. Wind accelerates the process by which water erodes rock and soil. A raindrop is relatively weak when it falls from the sky, but as soon as it hits the ground, the force of the wind increases its momentum and carries significant amounts of particles with it. Depending on the climate, the wind can create these natural landforms.
How quickly a field erodes depends on how far the wind blows before it reaches an obstacle. For a large field, the distance from the point of prevailing winds increases rapidly. Windbreaks can reduce the amount of soil exposed to wind erosion. The best and most permanent way to control wind erosion is to plant your fields well. Plants such as shrubs and weeds reduce wind speed at the soil surface and slow the normal accumulation of erosive material by the wind.