The Detroit Post
Tuesday, 02 March, 2021

Do Rocks Weather At The Same Rate

author
Earl Hamilton
• Tuesday, 03 November, 2020
• 9 min read

Scientific Accuracy Alignment of Learning Goals, Activities, and Assessments Pedagogic Effectiveness Robustness (usability and dependability of all components) Completeness of the ActivitySheet web page This page first made public: Mar 25, 2004 This material was originally developed as part of the Carleton College Teaching Activity Collection through its collaboration with the Serb Pedagogic Service.

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Contents

The minimum time required is two to four hours, depending on the number of outcrops that need to be visited to cover the range of fresh to weathered rocks. If obtaining fresh rock in the field is impossible (for instance in areas with thick satellite), you may provide fresh samples from a quarry or other source for students to observe and describe in the field or in an earlier or later lab period.

For instance, thin sections can be made of samples collected in the field (or you can have these available to students) to observe the microscopic signs of weathering. You may also extend this field lab with chemical analyses of fresh and weathered rocks (using an AA spectrophotometer or other instrument) to show the relative gains and losses of various elements.

Goldfish examined igneous and metamorphic rocks from several areas to determine which minerals weathered first, second, third, etc. Subsequent research suggests that biotite weathers more quickly than predicted from its position in Bowen's series, but the major elements of Goldfish's work has held up.

All rocks are not the same in that they are formed in a variety of ways, and are comprised of an array of mineral assemblages. People weathercocks mainly by using them to create products for consumption by other humans.

All types of mining involve the human weathering of rocks through applied physical or mechanization forces. Some rocks weather faster because they are softer or partially soluble in water example limestone.

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Others, particular igneous rocks, are very hard and don't dissolve very well at all example granite. Volcanoes are not related to weather and eruptions occur at the same rate at any time of year.

Attached is a photo that shows the hard rock has weathered at a slower rate. Rates of Weathering | edHelper.com ');} var S; S=tops(); Load(S); //- Worksheets and No Prep Teaching Resources Reading Comprehension WorksheetsEarth Science Rates of Weathering Earth Science Rates of Weathering Reading Level helper's suggested reading level: grades 9 to 10 Flesch-Kincaid grade level: 8.93 Vocabulary challenging words: carbonation, weather-resistant, crystalline, obelisk, calcite, topography, all-terrain, differential, guano, sandstone, prior, quartz, sedimentary, shale, composition, undisturbed content words: Quick Drop, New York City, York Imprint Rates of Weathering Quickly Print Proofreading Activity Rates of Weathering By Trista L. Pollard 1 As dramatic as the process of weathering sounds, it does not happen overnight.

In fact, some instances of mechanical and chemical weathering may take hundreds of years. 2 Where we see the effects of weathering often is on our stone monuments and buildings and large rock structures.

Quartz is a mineral whose composition, especially its crystalline structure, makes it resistant to mechanical and chemical weathering. This is why quartz remains unchanged on the Earth's surface after surrounding sedimentary rock has been eroded.

It is the carbonization of calcite that causes the increased rate of weathering of limestone. The material found in sediment grains also affects the rate of weathering.

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The mechanical weathering of rocks like shale and sandstone causes their grains to break up over time and become sand and clay particles. Rocks like conglomerates and sandstones have grains that are cemented strongly with silicates.

Geologists have also found that they may resist weathering longer than some types of igneous rocks. Rocks that are constantly bombarded by running water, wind, and other erosion agents, will weather more quickly.

Rocks that have a large surface area exposed to these agents will also weather more quickly. As you can imagine, every time the rock breaks into smaller pieces its surface area or part exposed to weathering is increased.

Water is the number one ingredient in ice wedging; fractures and joints speed up that process. As the water and other compounds enter the rock, more material is removed from the fractures and joints.

Weathering is a term which describes the general process by which rocks are broken down at the Earths surface into such things as sediments, clays, soils and substances that are dissolved in water. The process of weathering typically begins when the earths crust is uplifted by tectonic forces.

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After the physical breakup and chemical decay of exposed rocks by weathering, the loosened rock fragments and alterations products are carried away through the process of erosion. Erosion relies on transporting agents such as wind, rivers, ice, snow and downward movement of materials to carry weathered products away from the source area.

The mineralogy and structure of a rock affects its susceptibility to weathering. Magic silicates like olivine and proven tend to weather much faster than Celtic minerals like quartz and feldspar.

Massive rocks like granite generally to not contain planes of weakness whereas layered sedimentary rocks have bedding planes that can be easily pulled apart and infiltrated by water. Weathering therefore occurs more slowly in granite than in layered sedimentary rocks.

High temperatures and greater rainfall increase the rate of chemical weathering. Rocks in tropical regions exposed to abundant rainfall and hot temperatures weather much faster than similar rocks residing in cold, dry regions.

Soils are also host to a variety of vegetation, bacteria and organisms that produce an acidic environment which also promotes chemical weathering. The longer a rock is exposed to the agents of weathering, the greater the degree of alteration, dissolution and physical breakup.

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Chemical weathering is a process where minerals in a rock may be converted into clays, oxidized or simply dissolved. Not all silicates, however, survive weathering processes to become incorporated into sedimentary rocks.

For example, interlocking silicate grains in fresh granite gradually decay along crystal boundaries due to conversion to clays. Eventually cracks open around the boundaries, the rock weakens and easily disintegrates.

Figure 6.6 : The conversion of silicates to clays is enhanced when the water is slightly acidic. The acid rainwater than reacts with minerals on the exposed rock face.

The dissolved cations are carried away by rain and river waters and ultimately transported to the oceans. 9. In tropical regions, clays can further react with water to form Bauxite (Al-hydroxide), an ore which is a major source of Al.

Oxidation involves the combining of certain metals (Fe in particular) with oxygen in the process of stealing electrons. Figure 6.8 : Fe-bearing silicates like proven, when dissolved in water, releases Fe 2+ into solution.

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Figure 6.9 : Iron oxide minerals are widespread and have the characteristic red and brown colors seen in desert sediments and red soils in humid regions. The stability of silicates is opposite Bowen reaction series where the last minerals to crystallize (quartz and K, Na rich feldspar) being more stable than the early crystallized minerals (olivine and proven).

The most common silicates in clastic sedimentary rocks are quartz, K-, Na-feldspars and mica. Physical weathering is when rocks are broken apart by mechanical processes.

(a) Fig 6.11 : Natural Zones of Weakness: bedding planes, fractures, joints. 6.12 : Activity of Organisms: tree roots can invade and widen cracks in a rock.

6.13: Frost Wedging is breakage resulting from expansion of freezing water in cracks. (f) Fig 6.14 : Exfoliation is the physical process where large flat or curved sheets of rock are fractured and detached from an outcrop.

(g) Fig 6.15 : Spheroidal Weathering involves the cracking and splitting of curved layers from spherical boulders. Soils can form in place as residue left behind after weathering.

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Soils may also form from transported material derived from elsewhere and deposited in a lowland or basin. Residual soils develop on plains and lowlands with moderate to gentle slopes and consist of loose, heterogeneous material left behind from weathering.

This material may include particles of parent rock, clay minerals, metal oxides and organic matter. This loose material is collectively called regolith, whereas the term soil is reserved for the topmost layer which contains organic matter.

The upper portion of the A-horizon is often rich in organic matter, called humus, and may also contain inorganic material like insoluble clays and quartz. The A-horizon may take thousands of years to develop depending on the climate and activity of plants and animals.

The soluble minerals leached from horizon A are precipitated in the B-horizon as calcite, quartz, gypsum, salts and/or iron oxides. These precipitated minerals often accumulate in small pods, lenses and coatings.

The lowest layer constitutes the C-horizon and comprises cracked and variably weathered bedrock mixed with clays. The particular type of soil that is produced in a region depends on the available materials, climate and also time.

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6.18a : Late rite is a deep red soil found in tropical regions and often developed on magic igneous bedrock. The high temperatures, heavy rainfall and humidity of tropical regions have driven chemical weathering to the extreme.

As a result, feldspar and other silicates have been completely altered while silica and calcite is extensively leached from the soil. The upper zone of late rite consists of insoluble precipitated iron and other oxides along with some quartz.

At best, only a very thin layer of organic matter resides at the top of the soil to support the jungle vegetation. When the jungle vegetation is cleared, the humus oxidizes quickly and soon disappears.

For this reason, late rite can only be farmed extensively for a few years after clearing and afterwards must be abandoned. 6.18c : Pedals are the dominant soils in arid regions where rainfall and vegetation are sparse.

As a result, very little chemical weathering occurs to alter the original mineralogy. Much of the soil water is drawn up near the surface and evaporates between rainfalls, leaving behind precipitated nodules and pellets of calcium carbonate mostly in the B-horizon.

6.18b : Pedal fer soils occur in temperate climates experiencing moderate to high rainfall. The relatively thick, organic rich layer makes peddlers favorable to agriculture.

Peddlers typically form on granitic bedrock, the principle rock type in these regions. The classification of soils is actually more complex than presented, especially when taking into account significant differences in bedrock.

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