CHEMICAL WEATHERING 2018-01-30T10:55:29+00:00


Chemical weathering is the other important type of weathering. Chemical weathering may change the size of pieces of rock materials, but definitely changes the composition. So one type of mineral changes into a different mineral. Chemical weathering works through chemical reactions that cause changes in the minerals.

No Longer Stable:
Most minerals frame at high weight or high temperatures somewhere down in the covering, or in some cases in the mantle. When these rocks are uplifed onto Earth’s surface, they are at very low temperatures and pressures. This is a very different environment from the one in which they formed and the minerals are no longer stable. In chemical weathering, minerals that were stable inside the crust must change to minerals that are stable at Earth’s surface.

Remember that the most common minerals in Earth’s crust are the silicate minerals. Many silicate minerals form in igneous or metamorphic rocks. The minerals that form at the highest temperatures and pressures are the least stable at the surface. Clay is stable at the surface and chemical weathering converts many minerals to clay

Hydrolysis is the name of the chemical reaction between a chemical compound and water. When this reaction takes place, water dissolves ions from the mineral and carries them away. These elements have been leached. T

Chemical Weathering by Carbonic Acid
Carbon dioxide (CO2) combines with water as raindrops fall through the atmosphere. This makes a weak acid, called carbonic acid. Carbonic acid is a very common in nature, where it works to dissolve rock. Pollutants, such as sulfur and nitrogen from fossil fuel burning, create sulfuric and nitric acid. Sulfuric and nitric acids are the two main components of acid rain, which accelerates chemical weathering (Figure b. Acid rain is discussed in the chapter Human Impacts on Earth’s Systems.

Plants and Animals
Chemical weathering can also be contributed to by plants and animals. As plant roots take in soluble ions as nutrients, certain elements are exchanged. Plant roots and bacterial decay use carbon dioxide in the process of respiration.

Chemical weathering changes the composition of a mineral to break it down.
The agents of chemical weathering include water, carbon dioxide, and oxygen.
Living organisms and humans can contribute to chemical weathering.


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