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chemical weathering

occurs when chemical reactions dissolve the minerals in rocks or change them into different minerals


the average weather pattern in an area over a long period of time; can be classified by temperature, humidity, precipitation, and vegetation

contour farming

Planting along the natural contours of the land to reduce soil erosion.


each layer in a soil profile--horizon A (top layer of soil), horizon B (middle layer), and horizon C (bottom layer)


dark-colored, decayed organic matter that supplies nutrients to plants and is found mainly in topsoil

ice wedging

Mechanical weathering process that occurs when water freezes in the cracks of rocks and expands, causing the rock to break apart


the removal of minerals that have been dissolved in water


twigs, leaves, and other organic material that help prevent erosion and hold water and may eventually be changed into humus by decomposing organisms

mechanical weathering

physical process by which rock is split or broken into smaller pieces without changing its chemical composition, disintegration; can be caused by animals, ice wedging, and plant roots

no-till farming

Method for reducing soil erosion; plant stalks are left in the field after harvesting and the next year's crop is planted within the stalks without plowing.


chemical weathering process that occurs when some minerals are exposed to oxygen and water over time


mixture of weathered rock and mineral fragments, decayed organic material, water, and air that can take thousands of years to develop

soil profile

vertical section of soil layers, each of which is a horizon


farming method used to reduce erosion on steep slopes


mechanical or chemical surface process that break rock into smaller and smaller pieces

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