Soil and Weathering

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Term Definition
Weathering The breakdown of rocks that are exposed to weather through chemical and physical processes.
Erosion The transportation of sediment.
Mechanical Weathering Rocks are broken down physically.
Chemical Weathering Rocks are broken down chemically.
Abrasion Process of scraping or wearing away rock by wind, ice or water.
Ice Wedging Water seeps into the cracks in a rock, freezes and expands putting pressure on the rock and breaking it apart.
Soil The upper layer of earth in which plants grow, typically consisting of a mixture of organic remains, clay and rock particles.
Bedrock Solid rock that lies under the loose softer material (soil and subsoil)
Topsoil The upper, outermost layer of soil usually the top 2 inches. It has the highest concentration of organic matter and microorganisms.
Loam Soil composed mostly of sand sized particles, ideal for farming and gardening.

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