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Q 56- What exactly is meant by "weathering" and "mass movements"? How do weathering, mass wasting, and erosion interact to alter the landscape? Explain. (250 words)

  • Paper & Topic: GS I à Geography

 

  • Model Answer:

 

  • Introduction:

 

  • Weathering is described as the mechanical and chemical degradation of rocks as a result of the operations of various weather and climate variables.
  • Weathering is an in-situ or on-site process since very little or no material movement occurs.
  • The flow of weathered material down a slope due to gravity forces is known as mass wasting or mass movement.
  • Weathered slopes are more active than un-weathered slopes in terms of mass motions.
  • Running water, glaciers, wind, waves, and other common geographic agents play little part in mass motions, and gravity is the primary driving force.
  • Both are exogenic forces, meaning they get their power from the earth's outside or from within its atmosphere. As a result of their conduct, they are referred to as land wearing forces.

 

  • Body:

 

  • There are two types of weathering:

 

  • Denudation is caused by the chemical weathering process.
  • Exposure to air and water causes extremely slow and gradual disintegration of rocks.
  • Organic Acids are used in a variety of processes, including solution, oxidation, and decomposition.
  • Physical or mechanical weathering is the physical degradation of a rock caused by the separation of individual particles.
  • Processes include temperature fluctuations, wetting and drying, Frost action, and biotic influences.

 

  • Weathering's Importance:

 

  • The first step in the creation of soils is weathering.
  • Weathering of rocks and deposits aids in the enrichment and concentration of precious iron, manganese, aluminium, copper, and other ores.
  • Soil enrichment is aided by weathering.
  • Without weathering, the concentration of the same valuable material may not be adequate to exploit, process, and refine in an economically feasible manner. This is referred to as enrichment.
  • weathering

 

  • There are two types of mass wasting:

 

  • Slow motions:

 

  • Soil Creep occurs on moderately steep, soil-covered slopes (and does not require water lubrication like solifluction).
  • Except by prolonged observation, the movement is exceedingly slow and unnoticeable.
  • Solifluction is the process of a soil mass or fine-grained rock debris soaked or lubricated with water slowly moving down a hill.
  • It's a sort of creep in which the movement is influenced by lubricated water.
  • It is most common in permafrost areas, when ground water strata are occupied between permanently frozen soil and rocks.
  • Movements that are quick:
  • Earthflow is defined as the movement of water-saturated clayey or silty soil elements down low-angle terraces or hillsides.
  • Mudflow occurs when thick layers of weathered materials become saturated with water in the absence of vegetation and cover, and when heavy rainfall occurs, mudflow occurs.
  • Mudflow occurs when thick layers of weathered materials become saturated with water and either slowly or rapidly flow down along definite channels.
  • Debris avalanche: It occurs more frequently in humid, vegetated areas.
  • It is similar to a snow avalanche and occurs in narrow pathways on sleep slopes.
  • Landslides (slumping or sliding): These are highly fast movements that happen when a significant amount of earth or rock unexpectedly falls.
  • Landslides are most common on steep slopes that are undercut by a river or the sea and collapse due to gravity.
  • Slumping occurs most frequently where permeable debris or rock layers lie on top of impermeable strata like clay. The clay prevents water from sinking through the porous layer.
  • The damp clay creates a smooth, slick surface for the higher layers to glide over.

 

  • The Importance of Mass-Waste:

 

  • The topography of the earth's surface, especially the morphologies of mountain and valley systems on continents and ocean floors.
  • The character/quality of rivers and streams, as well as the movement of groundwater.
  • The sub-aerial woods that blanket much of the earth's surface.
  • Natural wildlife habitats, including rivers, lakes, and oceans, that occur on the earth's surface.
  • As a result of the landslide and erosion activities, large amounts of geologic materials enter streams as silt, lowering the potability of the water and the quality of habitat for fish and wildlife.

 

  • Mass-Wasting Mitigation:

 

  • Afforestation
  • Re-Afforestation
  • Creating terracing steps on slopes or, more broadly, reshaping its shape
  • Stabilization of the slope

 

  • Conclusion:

 

  • The combination of these constructive and destructive forces has resulted in a wide range of landforms today.
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