MadSci Network: Earth Sciences

Re: what type of weathering (physical or chemical)will occur if...

Date: Tue Nov 2 18:12:42 1999
Posted By: Everett Rubel, MadSci Admin
Area of science: Earth Sciences
ID: 939940326.Es


Thanks for the question.  I think you can answer it yourself if you think about 
the difference between chemical weathering and physical weathering.  

A chemical change means that some molecules exchange or rearrange their atoms.  
The new molecules that result generally have different properties than the 
molecules present before the chemical change.  

Physical weathering means that some mechanical force acts to break apart 
whatever is being weathered.

For chemical weathering in the situation you describe, the water or ice and the 
rock would both need to change chemically, so both would be different after the 
weathering takes place.

For physical weathering in the situation you describe, the water or ice would 
need to exert a physical force on the rock to break it up.

I hope that this helps you decide.

Best Regards,


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