Weathering and Erosion Study Guide

evaporation
changing of a liquid to a gas
transpiration
process by which plants that release water into the atmosphere from small pores on their leaves known as stomata
sublimation
changing of a solid to a gas
condensation
changing of a gas into a liquid
precipitation
water released from clouds in the form of rain, freezing rain, sleet, snow, or hail
infiltration
water that is absorbed by the soil and funneled down to groundwater
runoff
water that flows over the surface of the earth into rivers and lakes
groundwater
water that is absorbed by the earth
weathering
process that breaks down rock into smaller pieces
erosion
process of transporting weathered material by natural agents
deposition
process of laying the weathered material down in a new location
chemical weathering
process by which rock’s minerals are changed into different substances
mechanical weathering
process by which rock is split or broken into smaller pieces without changing its chemical composition, disintegration
abrasion
the collision of rocks with other rocks, resulting in the breaking and wearing away of the rocks.
carbonation
carbonic acid reacts with calcite to dissolve limestone
oxidation
Oxygen in the atmosphere chemically reacts with minerals
regolith
weathered rock fragments
soil profile
a cross-section in which layers of the soil and bedrock can be seen.
humus
dark soil that contains decaying remains of plants and animals
acid rain
rain that is very acidic
glacier
large mass of ice and snow that moves over land
waves
curving swells of water caused by wind, tides, and earthquakes
beach
place where eroded particles are deposited parallel to the shore
wind
moving air
soil
loose, weathered rock and organic material in which plants with roots can grow
A horizon
topsoil horizon that is generally gray to black
B horizon
subsoil horizon that is generally red or brown
C horizon
horizon made of rock fragments on top of unweatered bedrock
parent material
material from which a soil is formed, determines composition and properties of the soil
bedrock
solid rock that lies beneath the soil
hydrolysis
any chemical reaction of water with other substances
aquifer
body of rock that holds the groundwater
zone of aeration
the spaces between the sediments above the water table and are not filled with water
permeability
indicates how freely water passes through open spaces
porosity
percentage of open space in a given volume of rock or sediment
zone of saturation
groundwater forms this zone where water fills all of the open spaces in sediment and rock
water table
upper level of the saturation zone
pores
holes in the rock
cavern
a cave
sinkholes
formed when a cavern loses its support and the ceiling caves in
natural bridges
formed when either several sinkholes collapse in a line, or a surface river enters a crack in a rock formation which eventually erodes through the rock
stalagmites
rocks that form from the ground in caves
stalactites
rocks that hang from the ceiling in caves
column
formed when a stalagmite meets a stalactite
toglobites
creatures that live only in caves
karst topography
regions where groundwater dissolves the rocks and leaves visible traces on Earth’s surface