Ch4 Variation in the Environment9.pdf

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University of Toronto St. George
University College Courses
Spencer Barrett

 in arid regions, parent material breaks down slowly and plants add little organic detritus  soils may not form  where decomposed bedrock and detritus erode as rapidly as they form  on alluvial deposits where fresh layers of silt deposited each year by floodwaters bury older material  formation proceeds rapidly in parts of the humid tropics where chemical alteration of parent material may extend to depths of 100m  most soils of temperate zones are intermediate in depth (1m) Weathering  weathering is the physical and chemical alteration of rock material near the earth’s surface  occurs wherever surface water penetrates  the repeated freezing and thawing of water in crevices breaks rock into smaller pieces, exposing a greater surface area to chemical action  initial chemical alteration occurs when water dissolves soluble NaCl and CaSO 4  weathering of granite  granite made up of feldspar, mica, and quartz (miner3+s) 2+ 4+ 2+ 2+ +  consists various combinations of oxides of Al , Fe , Si , Mg , Ca , K , and other less abundant compounds  the key aspect in the p2+cess 2+ wea+her+ng is d+splacing certain elements in these minerals (notably Ca , Mg , Na , K ) by H ions, followed by the reorganization of the remaining oxides into new minerals  this chemical process provides the basic mineral struc
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