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Important Vocab For Chapter 12


the breakup of rock due to exposure to processes at or near Earth's surface

Mechanical Weathering

break up without any change in composition

Chemical Weathering

Minerals are changed into new minerals

Frost Wedging

When ice wedges and breaks rocks apart


When chunks of rock break off a larger rock because of friction between the larger rock and the ground


Upward expansion causes rocks to break off


When water causes a chemical change to a mineral or rock

Acid Rain

Rain that contains unusually high amounts of acid


A chemical change that is caused by oxygen

Parent Material

The material from which a soil is formed

Residual Soil

Soil whose parent material is the bedrock underneath it

Transport Soil

Soil whose parent material is loose soil, boulders, sands, and gravels

Soil Profile

The cross sections of earth exposed by digging

Soil Horizon

The three distinct layers in the soil

Top Soil

The soil of A- horizon; contains humus

Sub Soil

The soil of B- horizon; contains clay that has been washed down from top soil

Mass movement

The downward transportation of weathered materials by gravity


The removal and transport of materials by natural agents


Rock fragments that have been weathered from a cliff and pulled down by gravity


Movement of a mass of bedrock or loose soil and rock down a hill, mountain or cliff


Slow imperceptible movement of soil down a slope


Blocks of land tilt and move downhill along a surface that curves into the slope

Earth Flow

Mass of weathered material that has been saturated with water that flows downhill


Rapid movement of water that contains large amount of suspended silt and clay

Soil Fertility

The ability to grow plants on fertile soil

Soil Depletion

Soil that lacks nutrients required to grow plants


The deposition of minerals that cause soil to lose their fertility

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