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Weathering and Soils

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Earth Sciences
Earth Sciences 1022A/B
Stephen R Hicock

September 26, 2013 Lecture: Weathering and Soils Mechanical Weathering  Breaking up rock into smaller pieces, providing more surfaces fro chemical attack Frost wedging: water freezes in rock fractures and expands 9%, prying rock apart Unloading: rock surface expands after stuff on top is removed, slabs break off Biologic activity: plant roots grow in rock fractures and pry the fractures open Chemical Weathering Dissolution: CO2 dissolves in water to make weak carbonic acid that dissolves rock minerals Oxidation: dark silicates react with oxygen; form Fe, Mg oxides, clays Hydrolysis: orthoclase in granite changes to clay by exchanging large K+ ions for tiny H+ Rates of Weathering Rock Characteristics: Light silicates form closer to weathering conditions, more stable; marble is soluble, unstable Dark silicates form under higher P, T conditions, unstable und
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