40 terms

Unit 3 - Rocks and Processes

This unit discusses the processes of weathering, erosion and soil formation. Students will look at the types of weathering and the methods of erosion, soil typing and composition
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Lithification
Transformation of sediments into rock through compaction and cementation.
Rock Cycle
Continuous, dynamic set of processes by which rocks are changed into other types of rocks.
Mass Movement
Downslope movement of Earth materials, due to gravity, that can occur suddenly or very slowly, depending on the weight of the material, its resistance to sliding, and whether a trigger, such as an earthquake, is involved.
Soil
Loose covering of weathered rock and decayed organic matter overlying Earth's bedrock that is characterized by texture, fertility, and color and whose composition is determined by its parent rock and environmental conditions.
Mechanical Weathering
Process that breaks down rocks and minerals into smaller pieces but does not involve any change in their composition.
Physical Weathering
Breaking down rocks through physical processes like freezing and thawing
Abrasion
A type of erosion caused by wearing or scraping away by sand grains or other particles striking other sand grains and rocks, breaking off small fragments. The particles can be transported by wind, water, ice or gravity.
Exfoliation
The process by which the outer layers of rocks are stripped away - an example of mechanical/physical weathering.
Frost Wedging
The repeated freezing and thawing of water in the cracks of rocks - an example of mechanical/physical weathering.
Chemical Weathering
Process by which rocks and minerals undergo changes in their composition due to chemical reactions with agents such as acids, water, oxygen, and carbon dioxide.
Hydrolysis
The reaction of water with other substances - a type of chemical weathering
Sedimentary
A type of rock that forms when particles from other rocks or the remains of plants and animals are pressed and cemented together
Weathering
Chemical or physical process that breaks down rocks into smaller pieces
Erosion
Processes by which rock, sand, and soil are broken down and carried away (i.e. weathering, glaciation)
Deposition
Process in which sediment is laid down in new locations.
Compaction
the process by which sediments are pressed together under their own weight
Cementation
The process by which dissolved minerals crystalize and glue particles of sediment together into one mass.
Clastic Sedimentary Rock
Sedimentary rock that forms when fragments of preexisting rocks are compacted or cemented together.
Organic Sedimentary Rock
Sedimentary rock that forms from the remains of plants or animals.
Chemical Sedimentary Rock
Sedimentary rock that forms when minerals precipitate from a solution or settle from a suspension.
Stratification
the arrangement of layers of sedimentary rock
Igneous
A type of rock that forms from the cooling of molten rock at or below the surface
Intrusive Igneous Rock
Igneous rock that formed below Earth's surface
Extrusive Igneous Rock
Rock that forms from the cooling and solidification of lava at earth's surface
Felsic
Describes magma or igneous rock that is rich in feldspar and silica and that is generally light in color.
Mafic
describes magma or igneous rock that is rich in magnesium and iron and that is generally dark in color
Metamorphic
A type of rock that forms from an existing rock that is changed by heat, pressure, or chemical reactions.
Foliation
An arrangement of minerals in flat or wavy parallel bands.
Parent Rock
a rock formation that is the source of soil, The original type of rock before it was changed.
Sand
As a soil separate, individual rock or mineral fragments from 0.05 millimeter to 2.0 millimeters in diameter. Most sand grains consist of quartz.
Silt
A grainy material with grain size between sand and clay. It is weathered from soil or rock
Bedrock
The solid layer of rock beneath the soil.
Humus
rich, dark organic material formed by decay of vegetable matter, essential to soil's fertility
Soil Horizon
The layer of soil that differs in color and texture from the layers above or below it.
Landslide
a slide of a large mass of dirt and rock down a mountain or cliff
Creep
A slow mass movement of sediments down a hill
Saltation
Intermittent, leaping movement of particles of sand or gravel, as from the force of wind or running water.
Cirque
A bowl shaped basin carved by a glacier (erosional)
Arete
A jagged, narrow ridge that separates two adjacent glacier valleys or cirques.
Horn
A pointed, mountain peak, typically pyramidal in shape, bounded by the walls of three or more cirques.
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