You are watching: Can plants and animals cause weathering
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Biological weathering specifically refers to the weathering as brought about by biology -- plants, animals, and also bacteria.
The 3 different types of weathering are physical, chemical and also biological. Physical weathering is resulted in by mechanically forces, there is no any change to the makeup of the rock. Because that example, water have the right to freeze inside little holes in rock, resulting in the absent to split and crack. Chemistry weathering is resulted in by reactions amongst minerals in the rock and outside chemicals. Maybe the best-known type of chemical weathering is mountain rain, precipitation that has acids the corrode the surface ar of rock.
Biological weathering only refers come weathering brought about by organisms -- animals, plants, fungi and microorganisms such as bacteria. While specific forms of organic weathering, such together the break of absent by tree roots, are periodically categorized as either physics or chemical, biological weathering can be either physical or chemical. Biological weathering can work hand in hand v physical weathering by weakening absent or exposing it come the pressures of physical or chemistry weathering.
You"ve more than likely seen biological weathering in action if you"ve ever seen a sidewalk that"s cracked through a tree root. The root of trees, grasses and also other plants can flourish into tiny spaces and gaps in rock. As soon as these roots grow, lock exert press on the rock roughly them, bring about the gaps to widen or even crack. Tree roots can likewise weather rock through chemical processes. As soon as dead root decompose, they relax carbon dioxide; this is occasionally converted into carbonic acid, i beg your pardon chemically breaks down rock into soil.
Not all organic weathering occurs visibly. Many microorganisms in the soil and also on the surface of rock have the right to contribute. Some bacteria have nutrition by acquisition a combination of nitrogen from the air and minerals -- such together silica, phosphorous and also calcium -- native rock. Through removing these minerals, the rock is weakened and also is additional subject to other weathering pressures such as wind and also water. Lichens, symbiotic swarms of fungi and also microscopic algae that thrive on rock, additionally contribute come weathering. The fungi in a lichen produce chemicals that failure the minerals in the rock. The algae, favor the bacteria, usage these minerals for nutrition.
Animals can likewise contribute to weathering. Animals can to walk on absent or disturb it, resulting in landslides the scrape or smooth rock surfaces. Burrowing animals such together badgers and also moles can break up absent underground or bring it to the surface, wherein it is exposed to other weathering forces. Some animals directly burrow into the rock. The piddock covering is a mollusk, very closely related to the clam, that uses its covering to reduced a hole in rock, where it lives.
As animals, humans likewise contribute to biological weathering. Construction, mining and also quarrying break up and disturb large sections that rock. Foot traffic over rock reasons friction that division off tiny particles. End a long period, foot traffic have the right to cause far-ranging wear and tear on rock surfaces.
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Jon Zamboni started writing professionally in 2010. He has previously created for The spirituality Herald, an urban health treatment and spiritual issues newspaper based in brand-new York City, and also online music magazine eBurban. Zamboni has a Bachelor of arts in spiritual studies indigenous Wesleyan University.