What is weathering? Weathering in various climatic regions.

What is weathering:

”The process of of mechanical disintegration and/ or chemical decomposition of rocks that destroys their coherence and breaks them into smaller components/ fragments is called weathering.”

Weathering is the decomposition of rocks, soils and their minerals through direct contact with the Earth’s atmosphere. Weathering occurs with no movement and thus it should not be confused with erosion, which involves the movement and disintegration of rock particles and minerals  by agents such as water, ice, wind and gravity. Three important classification of weathering processes exist.

Here in this post we are going to discuss the;

Effect of weathering in Various Climatic Regions:

The effect of the weather upon rocks vary according to the potency of the different climatic elements.

  • Equatoria Latitudes:

In equatorial latitudes, where both humidity and temperature are consistently high, chemical weathering is continuously active, and it is generally much more rapid and effective than the transport and removal of weathered material.

  • Desert Areas:

    In desert areas, there is little weathering by ordinary leaching, but considerable mechanical weathering. The chemical weathering takes place by the drawing of strong solutions to the surface by capillary action.

  • Mid Latitude:

In mid latitudes, frost is by far the most powerful agent, while solution, particularly in lime stone areas, exerts great effects.

  • Polar Conditions:

Under polar conditions, great areas of permanent snow prevents any ordinary weathering, but where Nunataks  project from ice-sheet, frost action is rampant. Chemical and organic agencies here seem to be negligible for their effects. Corbondioxide is more soluble at low temperatures than at high, and as the melted water has higher Carbonic Acid content, chemical weathering may be quite active under a glacier or at the edge of an ice-sheet.


The weathering processes, both physical and chemical, work universally but produce few distinctive large land-forms or spectacular activities that would draw the attention of the average person. Nevertheless, these processes are of enormous importance in slope development for they prepare the bedrock for soil formation and for erosional removal by the agents of the land sculpture. Without the weathering processes, vegetation could not thrive as we know it today, nor could the great continental land masses be easily reduced by the agents of denudation (exposure).

Explanation of words:

01. Nunataks:

A nunatak is an exposed, often rocky element of a ridge, mountain, or peak not covered with ice or snow within an ice field or glacier. They are also called glacial islands. Examples are natural pyramidal peaks.

02. Denudation:

Denudation is the addition of  processes that cause the wearing away of the Earth’s surface by moving water, by ice, by wind and by waves, leading to a reduction in elevation and in relief of landforms and of landscapes.


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