Chapter 2: Vocabulary Words

External Forces Shaping the Earth

Weathering- The chemical and mechanical force that changes the characteristics and appearances of rocks and surfaces around the world. (Ex. Statue of Liberty used to be copper.)


Chemical Weathering (A)- The change of characteristics and breakdown of rocks by chemical reactions between elements (air/water) and minerals (rocks). (Ex. hydrolysis, oxidation, carbonation)


Mechanical Weathering (B)- The physical change of rock without change to chemical composition. (Ex. water freezes in cracks of a rock and expands the crack and contorts/breaks the rock)

Erosion- The physical breakdown of exposed rocks by forces of nature (wind, water, ice, or gravity). (Ex. splash, sheet, gully, rill)

Delta- a fan-like land form made of sediment built-up by a river entering an ocean. (Ex. Nile Delta)

Loess- a loosely compacted deposit of silt and clay sediment blown and eroded by wind. (Ex. Loess Plateau)

Glacier- a big chunk of ice created by years of built-up snow. (Ex. Antarctica)

Glaciation- the change of land forms due to the movement of glaciers. (Ex. see picture for glacier)

Moraine- a ridge or hill created from glaciation. (Ex. moraine in Rocky Mountain National Park)

Sediment- loose small rocks, mud, sand, or silt often created because of weathering. (non-Ex. chunks of rock)

Humus- dark natural matter found in soil. (Ex. decaying bodies and plant body parts)

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