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WikiProject Geology (Rated C-class, Top-importance)
WikiProject icon Weathering is part of WikiProject Geology, an attempt at creating a standardized, informative, comprehensive and easy-to-use geology resource. If you would like to participate, you can choose to edit this article, or visit the project page for more information.
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WikiProject Soil (Rated C-class, Mid-importance)
WikiProject icon Weathering is within the scope of WikiProject Soil, which collaborates on Soil and related articles on Wikipedia. If you would like to participate, you can choose to edit this article, or visit the project page for more information.
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posssible copyvio[edit]

I reverted the edit by anon as the text appears to be a cut n paste job from some source. If I'm mistaken, please discuss here. Vsmith 14:08, 13 November 2005 (UTC)

Defn of Weathering & Erosion[edit]

The definition here does not seem to make the important difference between erosion & weathering clear.

If my A-level knowledge is correct, doesn't Weathering occur 'in situ' (without movement) and Erosion occur with some form of movement involved? --Albert 19:37, 16 July 2006 (UTC)

Yup. Reread the first line, which says essentially the same thing. If it's still not clear, correct the line. Pollinator 05:25, 17 July 2006 (UTC)
I'll try and clarify it a bit then. --Albert 09:54, 17 July 2006 (UTC)
I've made quite a few changes. Everyone happy with them?--Albert 11:09, 17 July 2006 (UTC)
Looks good. Pollinator 12:46, 17 July 2006 (UTC)

I have added Tree Weathering. Do you like it?

What is actually 'frost wedging and 'frost induced weathering'. What is the difference? For me is looks quite similar.

( i can't find the how water can cause rocks to crack and break

Merge from Mineral weathering[edit]

I am in two minds about this one. Should I just delete everything as it looks like a copyvio (nothing from google) and redirect here or try and incorporate some of the information? The page has no significant links (this page now I put the merge tag on and a big stubs list.--NHSavage 12:58, 23 September 2006 (UTC)

Just made it a redirect here. It appears to have been copied from somewhere - textbook or some class notes? As no source is given its status is questionable. Added by an anon a year ago. The info is still there in page history if someone wants to incorporate some of it here - again, needs sourcing. Vsmith 14:02, 23 September 2006 (UTC)

Merge from building weathering[edit]

This article has at present very little specific to buildings, it mostly just replicates what is already here. I propose that it should be merged to here. If at a future date a lot of specific information on building weathering gets added to this article we can split it back out. At present this is just duplication.--NHSavage 13:39, 24 September 2006 (UTC)

I don't think they should as they are kind of different topics and Geographers doing research may not find the article easy, maybe a link would be hand. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs)
after careful thought I have decide that the merge is appropriate. The building weathering article was not any less detailed about the weathering mechanisms merely less detailed. Effectively it split the weathering info across 2 articles.--NHSavage 20:32, 3 October 2006 (UTC)

Recent articles on frost action[edit]

There have been several fascinating recent article in the most recent issues of Reviews of Modern Physics and Nature that rather redefine the frost induced weathering process. Recommended reading for anyone interested in the processes! Skål - Williamborg (Bill) 18:46, 2 December 2006 (UTC) gayness very important aspect of modern phsics.10:30 13 February 2007

Rock Mass strength[edit]

i happen to be studying geography for IB... we're asked about weathering and rock mass strength. the main impact of weathreing is a reduction in rock mass strength, or so i'm told. a) Is this true, and b) shouldn't this be added to the article, along with a section on the parts rock mass strength?--Lenary (talk) 09:04, 30 June 2008 (UTC)

i think so,reduction is not only in rock mass strength,also in their deformation,hydraulic features. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:46, 1 March 2009 (UTC)

Silicate weathering[edit]

I have changed the section heading "Hydrolysis" to "Hydrolysis and Silicate Weathering". The impetus for doing so lies in the Ice Age page which makes clear the importance of silicate weathering, yet the Wikipedia has no entry for it. At least now "Silicate Weathering" appears somewhere. (Note that the links are to "silicates" and to "weathering", both of which flood the reader with text, but do not feature the topic of "silicate weathering" per se.) Hope this helps.

It would be nice if those who know would go a step further and show how the CO2 is sequestered in rock. Readers not in the field like me imagine the carbonic acid bubbling back the CO2. A few words on where we go from here -- ocean pH drop? rock sequestration? -- would fit in well.

To recap, the ice age page drives readers here by pointing out that silicate weathering is a global sink for CO2. During global ice ages across geological time, silicate weathering is reduced when ice sheets reduce the amount of continental crust exposed to weathering. The resulting rise in atmospheric C02 is thought to be one factor for bringing the earth out of an ice age (and, of course, setting us up for the next cycle). Thanks, all. Jerry-va (talk) 16:42, 6 December 2009 (UTC)

best example?[edit]

Presently the section reads, in part:

Hydrolysis is a chemical weathering process affecting silicate and carbonate minerals. In such reactions, pure water ionizes slightly and reacts with silicate minerals. An example reaction:

Mg2SiO4 + 4H+ + 4OH- ⇌ 2Mg2+ + 4OH- + H4SiO4

olivine (forsterite) + four ionized water molecules ⇌ ions in solution + silicic acid in solution

This reaction results in complete dissolution of the original mineral, assuming enough water is available to drive the reaction.

I just reverted a change to this paragraph and noticed that the example reaction does not really support the ensuing sentence. silicic acid and free OH would not both accumulate without further reaction. Before I attempt to fix this by adding "and dilute or wash away the reaction products" at the end of the sentence I will ask whether this is the example we want here? Dankarl (talk) 13:44, 22 December 2010 (UTC)

Potholes are not frost weathering[edit]

The The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' Cold Regions Research & Engineering Laboratory originally published "Pothole Primer: A Public Administrator's Guide to Understanding and Managing the Pothole Problem" (Special Report 81-21) in September 1981 explains that pothles are simply the result of water-saturated soil, plus traffic. A review article explains, "One result is potholes, especially in the spring when water saturates the roadway's ground support and weakens its ability to stand up to heavy traffic." So, frost effects are a contributing, not primary cause of potholes. I plan to delete the reference from this article. --User:HopsonRoad 14:11, 18 April 2010 (UTC)

why it important to know this[edit]

weathering is the first thing you should understand in grades 4-6 and you need to know it to become a scientist you need to know lots of things to become a scientist —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:25, 11 May 2010 (UTC)

Natural arch[edit]

Natural arches are usually described as being produces by erosion rather than weathering. If the contention is that this particular arch shows evidence of both types of process, please provide interpretive detail. ThanksDankarl (talk) 01:26, 10 December 2010 (UTC)

Natural arch article states the following: "Natural arches commonly form where cliffs are subject to erosion from the sea, rivers or weathering (subaerial processes)". Since the site is located in desert, far from the sea, and the specific arch is elevated, I presume it is subject to a continuous weathering process - am I wrong? Etan J. Tal 07:48, 10 December 2010 (UTC)
Erosion removes the material - presumably the removed rock under the arch was more weathered and more subject to erosion and the arch itself was more resistant due either to differential weathering or perhaps silicification along a fracture or some other structural control. Don't know the details of the specific arch illustrated. Edited the caption a bit. Vsmith (talk) 13:02, 10 December 2010 (UTC)
Thanks for your attention, Dankarl, and for your help, Vsmith. I hope someone who knows the specific site better will be able to formulate the final caption, and determine the best relevant article it belongs to (Weathering, Erosion, or both?) Etan J. Tal
It's a fascinating picture, and there is obviously a lot that has gone on with that formation. I hope someone can provide the details.Dankarl (talk) 14:25, 10 December 2010 (UTC)
Natural arches are often wrongly attributed to erosion rather than (correctly) weathering. A combination of existing fractures, wicking of groundwater, salt weathering, and dissolution contribute to the formation. Insolation weathering and frost weathering may be valid, depending on the region. As with all weathering, weathered material is winnowed away by water (primarily), gravity, or (minorly) wind. Weathering does the primary work, however. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 06:28, 16 February 2011 (UTC)

Chemical Weathering[edit]

I read in the journal Science about ten years ago that of the (major) minerals making up the Earth's surface (rock) only two are chemically/thermodynamically stable. If I recall, hydrolysis, dehydration, oxidation and carbonation were the major reactions. Unfortunately, I have not run across this information again. If one of you geochemist types could confirm that the land surface of the Earth is intrinsically *not* chemically stable, then I think that would be an important fact to mention here. (Quartz was one of the two, btw. Would love to remember what the other one was...gneiss?? IDK). (and by 'stable' the article meant in the conditions to whcih they are exposed). (talk) 17:33, 5 February 2012 (UTC)

3 years later - I think I found it: zircon. Although I also have seen that clays are "stable" under STP surface conditions72.172.10.20 (talk) 23:33, 6 May 2015 (UTC)

=Dissolution and Carbonation[edit]

Hi just a friendly anon here with a few degrees in geography--so not willing to edit the page myself but could someone please revisit the sentences:

"This process speeds up with a decrease in temperature, not because low temperatures generally drive reactions faster, but because colder water holds more dissolved carbon dioxide gas. Carbonation is therefore a large feature of glacial weathering."

No source is cited and I believe while the first may be true the second claim to be the opposite of reality--in cold climates, even with abundant precip, carbonate rocks tend to form UPLANDS, not be eroded quickly. When we look for prime examples of karst topography, the characteristic landscape formed when carbonic acid dissolution dominates, we see it in warm to hot climates--like southern China, the Philippines, Mexico's Yucatan. Furthermore, what's "glacial weathering"? Glacial erosion, transport, and deposition are well understood mechanical processes covered exhaustively in other sections of Wikipedia.

I recommend deleting these two sentences. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 06:53, 30 June 2014 (UTC)


A new addition to the article makes disaggregation a synonym of mechanical weathering. In my very nonexpert understanding it would be either a synonym of weathering or an alternative subclass of weathering. Experts please comment. Dankarl (talk) 18:11, 9 August 2012 (UTC)

Contradicts Article on Ice Lens[edit]

Ice_lens article makes it clear freeze-thaw is a different process and that it is not so significant. IN this article the 2 are conflated meaning that taken together this article is contradicting THAT article. Both should be updated by an expert with references (which is why I have not done it). — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:02, 17 March 2013 (UTC)

Lede is inadequate[edit]

I don't like the lede. The first sentence assumes "breaking down" is a reasonable explanation for what weathering is (at least it doesn't use "aging"). How about "Weathering is the process of chemical and physical change of an object or a material exposed to the environment. When weathering and erosion are used as distinct terms, erosion involves the displacement of the object or material while weathering occurs in situ. [no link nor clarification is needed! - that is what dictionaries are for - and the rough translation SHOULD be "in place" (meaning 'without being moved'). If 'in situ' is too obscure then it has no place in the lede: replace it with "in place", but I don't think it is obscure at all.] Erosion is NOT logically distinct from physical weathering. The Wikipedia article on Erosion claims that heat/cool and freeze/thaw are part of physical erosion. Well, they are also part of physical weathering. In point of fact, its wrong to claim that weathering occurs without movement. Any chemical or physical change requires movement (atomic, molecular, electronic, vibrational, thermal, on and on) (I understand that when discussing macroscopic weathering, movement means perceptible movement. I would personally prefer the article to separate chemical weathering which can be distinguished from physical erosion, from physical weathering which cannot. But this would be my own original research POV (here, by 'original', I mean 'obvious to any graduate with a degree in physics or chemistry and needing no justification for them (us).'). The article goes on to make the CONTRADICTORY claim (in the section on Physical Weathering) that "The primary process in physical weathering is abrasion ..." It is a fact that abrasion REQUIRES movement of material away from its original position (ie. is erosion). IMHO (but see OR comment above), weathering and erosion are distinct if and only if weathering is chemical (and hence at the molecular or atomic scale) and erosion is the physical displacement of materials at larger scales (and afaik invariably must follow weathering...although I haven't considered diffusion (which can, I suppose, be considered a physical rather than a chemical process...) Another take on it is weathering occurs TO surfaces while erosion occurs TO materials which are displaced, fwiw more OR. Please note my main objection is that the entire article completely fails to explain any real difference between erosion and weathering and contradicts both itself and the wikipedia article on Erosion. (talk) 22:38, 6 May 2015 (UTC)

Sorry I didn't check to see if is referred to here, but it is a good article on weathering and does a passable job at distinguishing between physical weathering (disintegration) and erosion. Could someone include it? (talk) 23:33, 6 May 2015 (UTC)
This article provides a scholarly upto date (as of 2012) definittion and problematization of the term "weathering": Hall, K., Thorn, C., & Sumner, P. (2012). On the persistence of ‘weathering’. Geomorphology, 149, 1-10.. Dentren | Talk 21:54, 8 May 2015 (UTC)
I agree the lede and probably the other parts mentioned, need work and references. From the study Dentren mentioned above, quote: As a ‘way forward’ it is suggested that weathering, stripped of specific preconceived notions of specific processes, be envisaged as a function of energy transfer and be investigated in that light. Identification of new processes as well as restructuring of known processes, particularly when considering weathering on other planets, is a potential outcome of such an approach. The salem state edu link provides also a good resource, but peer-reviewed journal studies would be perfect. prokaryotes (talk) 22:24, 8 May 2015 (UTC)