Name_______________________ Weathering Weathering includes mechanical weathering and chemical weathering. Mechanical weathering is any process that breaks up rock without changing its chemical composition. Chemical weathering is any process in which water, air, or other substances react with the minerals in the rock and change the chemical composition of the rock. Decide if the following descriptions are examples of mechanical weathering or chemical weathering. Write the word “mechanical” or “chemical” in the blank at the left. ______________________ 1. Moss growing on the surfaces of rocks, producing pits in the rocks ______________________ 2. The wedging of tree roots along natural joints in granite outcrops ______________________ 3. Limestone dissolved by carbonic acid ______________________ 4. The oxidation of minerals that contain iron ______________________ 5. Animal burrows dug in rock that let in water and air ______________________ 6. Repeated freezing and thawing of water that cracks rock ______________________ 7. The action of water, salt, and air on car fenders and panels ______________________ 8. Acids from plant roots which break up rocks ______________________ 9. Formation of potholes in streets during severe winters ______________________ 10. Lifted sections of sidewalk along tree-lined streets ______________________ 11. A small rock falling from a cliff ______________________ 12. Feldspar mixing with acidic groundwater and producing clay minerals ______________________ 13. Halite in rocks dissolving in water ______________________ 14. Decaying plants dissolving some of the minerals in rocks ______________________ 15. Tree roots cracking the concrete foundation of a house Rates of Weathering Choose the one best response. Write the letter of that choice in the space provided. ______1. The rate at which conglomerates weather is most dependent upon the rock’s: a. Cementing material b. age c. grain size d. texture ______ 2. Which of the following best accounts for the damage to Cleopatra’s Needle after being moved to New York City? a. carbonations b. dry climate c. pollution d. cold climate ______ 3. Weathering is generally slow in climates with extended periods of: a. acid rain b. cold c. high winds d. humidity ______ 4. At which point in the diagram will weathering occur most rapidly? a. A b. B c. D d. D Complete each statement by writing the correct term or phrase in the space provided. 5. The four main factors that determine the rate of weathering are climate, composition, exposure, and __________________. 6. Fractures and joints allow weathering to occur more rapidly by increasing a rock’s ___________________________. 7. Water that penetrates rock and then freezes causes weathering by the process of ___________________________. 8. When a rock is split into eight smaller blocks, its surface area increases by a factor of ___________________________. 9. Rocks containing calcite are most easily weathered by the chemical process of ___________________________. 10. Carbonation is responsible for converting calcite to _______________________. Soil Use the diagram of a soil profile to answer Questions 1-5 on the lines provided. Then answer questions 6 & 7. 1. Which soil layer contains the most humus? _________________________________________. 2. How far into the soil do plan roots extend? __________________________________________. 3. Where in this soil profile are worms and insects breaking down organic matter in the soil? ______________________________________________________________________________. 4. Where in this soil profile is solid rock being weather into soil? ___________________________. 5. What is the name of the process by which water carries materials from the upper horizons down to the lower levels? ____________________________ 6. What factors in an area help determine the type of soil—the thickness of the layers and their composition? ____________________________________________________________________.
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