Weathering and Soils

Jun 30th, 2015
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Weathering – chemical and physical breakdown of rock exposed to air, moisture and organic matter. • Mechanical – rocks are physically broken down but there is no change in its mineral content or chemical composition.• Chemical – dissolution and decomposition of rocks and mineral as a result of chemical and biochemical reaction

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Weathering and SoilsWeathering - chemical and physical breakdown of rock exposed to air, moisture and organic matter.Mechanical - rocks are physically broken down but there is no change in its mineral content or chemical composition.Chemical - dissolution and decomposition of rocks and mineral as a result of chemical and biochemical reaction, producing new minerals.Mechanical Weatheringa. Thermal Expansion - stress caused by cyclic expansion and contraction of rock as temperature change through the day.b. Unloading - large, curved slabs of rock break off from the surface of igneous rocks due to release of pressure.c. Haloclasty - rock disintegration due to the expansion of salt crystals within rock fractures.d. Frost Wedging - caused by expansion of water as it freezes within rock fractures.e. Root Wedging - roots of plants that sprout in rock exerts pressure that widen the fractures.Chemical Weatheringa. Dissolution - minerals dissolve into soluble species (ions in solution).Carbonization - dissolution of limy rocks by percolating rainwater contains CO2 from atmosphere or soil.b. Oxidation - involves electron transfer from one element to another.c. Hydrolysis - H+ substitutes for a cation in a silicate mineral; key process in silicate weathering. Important reaction in controlling the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere and can affect climate. d. Organic Weathering - CO2 from plat roots and soil microbes increase the concentration of H2CO3 in soil waters compared

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