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Study Notes # 1 Exogenic Processes: Weathering Factors that affect the type, extent, and rate at which

weathering takes place

Weathering is the outside breakdown of rock and its eventual
transformation/alternation into sediments a. Climate – areas that are cold and dry tend to have slow
rates of chemical weathering and weathering is mostly
It is physically broken into smaller pieces due to any force (natural
physical; chemical weathering is most active in areas with
or anthropogenic) without any alteration of its composition
high temperature and rainfall.
Types of Weathering:
b. Rock type – the minerals that constitute rocks have
1) Physical or Mechanical Weathering, different susceptibilities to weathering. The susceptibility of
minerals (from high to low) roughly follows the inverse of the
2) Chemical Weathering,
order of crystallization of minerals in the Bowen’s reaction
 Physical or Mechanical Weathering series. Thus, olivine which crystallizes first is the least
resistant whereas; quartz which crystallizes last is the most
 Disintegration and decay of rocks via weather elements: high resistant.
temperatures, extreme cold and freeze-thaw cycles
c. Rock structure- rate of weathering is affected by the
 No change in chemical composition of rocks
presence of joints, folds, faults, bedding planes through which
a. Frost wedging- when water gets inside the joints, alternate agents of weathering enter a rock mass. Highly-
freezing and thawing episodes pry the rock apart. jointed/fractured rocks disintegrate faster than a solid mass
of rock of the same dimension
b. Salt crystal growth- force exerted by salt crystal that
formed as water evaporates from pore spaces or cracks d. Topography- physical weathering occurs more quickly on a
in rocks can cause the rock to fall apart steep slope than on a gentle one. On a gentle slope, water
c. Abrasion – wearing away of rocks by constant collision of may stay longer in contact with the rocks, hence chemical
loose particles weathering is enhanced.

d. Biological activity – plants and animals (including humans) e. Time- length of exposure to agents of weather determines
as agents of mechanical weathering the degree of weathering of a rock

 Chemical Weathering
 decomposes rocks through a chemical change in its
a. Dissolution – dissociation of molecules into ions; common
example includes dissolution of calcite and salt

b. Oxidation- reaction between minerals and oxygen dissolved

in water

c. Hydrolysis- change in the composition of minerals when

they react with water
Study Notes # 1 Exogenic Processes: Mass