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Freeze-thaw weathering HTML5

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Summary

Frozen water occupies a volume 10% greater than when it is in its liquid state.

For this simple reason, water that infiltrates faults or fissures is able to break even the hardest rock during  several cycles of freeze-thaw.  Rocks that have been damaged in this way display breakages that are clean and straight.

This type of degradation of rock is common in mountain regions, where the temperature oscillates regularly around 0° C.

Learning goals

  • To study the principal factors responsible for the erosion of a landscape.
  • To apply our knowledge to the explanation of some of the characteristics of the relief of the region.
  • To place the duration of these phenomena on the Geological Time Scale.

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The natural elements, in the sense of the actions of Earth’s air and water, cause a continuous wearing down of rocks and soils. The term erosion is often used to characterize this phenomenon, but…

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