EROSION BY GROUND WATER

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EROSION BY GROUND WATER 2017-10-12T13:53:18+00:00

Some water soaks into the ground. It travels down through tiny holes in soil. It seeps through cracks in rock. The water moves slowly, pulled deeper and deeper by gravity. Water in an underground rock or sediment layer is groundwater. Underground water can also erode and deposit material.

Rainwater absorbs carbon dioxide (CO2) as it falls. The CO2 combines with water to form carbonic acid. The slightly acidic water is especially good at dissolving the rock limestone. Groundwater creates landforms by dissolving away rock.

Caves:
Caves are one of the types of landforms created by groundwater erosion. Working slowly over many years, groundwater travels along small cracks. The water dissolves and carries away the solid rock. This gradually enlarges the cracks, eventually, a cave.

Sinkholes:
As erosion by groundwater continues, the ceiling of a cave may collapse. The rock and soil above it sink into the ground. This forms a sinkhole on the surface. Some sinkholes are large enough to swallow up a home or several homes in a neighborhood.

Summary:
Groundwater erodes rock beneath the ground surface. Limestone is a carbonate and is most easily eroded.
Groundwater dissolves minerals and carries the ions in solution.
Groundwater erosion creates caves and sinkholes.

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