What happens to Igneous Rocks that undergo Weathering and Erosion?

What are Weathering and Erosion? What Kinds of Rocks are formed by Weathering? What often happens to Rocks that undergo Chemical Weathering? What happens to Igneous Rocks that undergo Weathering and Erosion?
what happens to igneous rocks that undergo weathering and erosion
Photo by K. Mitch Hodge on Unsplash

Rocks can be shifted away from their specific places and separated by weathering and erosion. Weathering frequently causes erosion by separating rocks into small fragments that erosional forces can subsequently transport away. Do you know what happens to igneous rocks that undergo weathering and erosion and what exactly occurs if rocks will not undergo weathering process? This article will provide answers in detail about various types of rocks. How does weathering affect igneous rock? Moreover, you will find out why are some igneous rocks more resistant to weather. So, if you want to upgrade your knowledge, then read on.

1. What is Weathering and Erosion?

Eroded rocks - What happens to igneous rocks that undergo weathering and erosion? pic #1
Photo by Alexander Schimmeck on Unsplash

The disintegration or corrosion of rocks and minerals on the surface of the Earth is known as weathering. Once a rock has been fragmented, the minerals and rock particles are carried away by a process known as erosion. Weathering and erosion can be caused by water, acids, salt, plants, animals, and temperature changes. However, weathering degrades a rock without moving it, whereas erosion moves rocks and soil from their original places. (See Why is Natural Erosion a Beneficial Process?)

2. What do you think will happen if Rocks will not undergo Weathering?

Geologic features would accumulate but be less likely to degrade in the absence of weathering. Through a process known as weathering, solid rock is converted into sediments. The disintegration of rock occurs during weathering. (See How long do rocks live?

3. What happens when Rock undergo Weathering?

What happens to igneous rocks that undergo weathering and erosion? The Grand Canyon is a great example of weathering and erosion. The picturesque rocks are situated in Arizona (U.S. state). In simple terms, weathering breaks down a rock into tiny fragments and erosion carries or transports it to other places.

Weathering and erosion keep transforming the earth’s rocky landscape from time to time. Water, air, ice, and temperature are some of the important agents of weathering and erosion. Weathering damages or wears away a rock’s surface. However, it also depends on the rock’s quality and the duration for which it was exposed to the environment. (See What causes breaking down of rocks into fragments?)

4. What often happens to Rocks that undergo Chemical Weathering?

Chemical weathering completely alters the rocks’ and soil’s molecular structures. For example, a carbonation process happens, in which air or soil carbon dioxide merges with water. This process releases carbonic acid, which is a weak acid that dissolves rocks. Carbonic acid’s effect can be clearly seen in limestone. This acid seeps through the interiors of the limestone and creates huge cracks, which later turn into big caves.

Carlsbad Caverns National Park, situated in New Mexico, is a prime example of limestone caves created by chemical weathering. The Big Room has around 119 limestone caves, known as the Big Room. (Read What is Carbonation Weathering?)

5. Which Rocks are likely to Disintegrate by Weathering and Erosion?

Both igneous and metamorphic rocks are the types of rocks that are most likely to break down due to weathering and erosion. Check out What are the different layers of rocks called?

6. What Kinds of Rocks are formed by Weathering?

Image of Sedimentary rocks - What happens to igneous rocks that undergo weathering and erosion? Pic #3
Photo by Albina White on Pexels

Sedimentary rocks form due to various geological developments like weathering, erosion, lithification, precipitation, and dissolution. These rocks form on the Earth’s surface area, unlike the igneous and metamorphic rocks that form under the Earth’s surface. (See What are the characteristics of Sedimentary rocks?)

7. Are Igneous Rocks formed by Weathering and Erosion?

The word igni means fire in Latin. These rocks form when the molten lava spreads on the earth’s surface, and soon it cools down and solidifies. There are two main types of igneous rocks, and they are: intrusive (or Plutonic) and extrusive (or Volcanic). (See What are the uses of Igneous rocks?)

Intrusive igneous rocks are formed below the Earth’s surface or crust layer, and extrusive types are formed at the outer area or surface of the Earth. When a volcanic eruption takes place, the molten lava spills out of the mountains and spreads across the land’s surface. Soon it cools down and becomes solid to form igneous rocks. The most common types of intrusive rocks are granite and diorite. These rocks form inside the Earth’s surface, and they take millions of years to cool down.

Later on, mineral crystals grow in granite and diorite rocks, and they attain a coarse texture. So, what happens to igneous rocks that undergo weathering and erosion? Let’s find out.

8. How does Weathering affect Igneous Rock?

The majority of igneous rocks are solid and more weather-resistant. Because it is difficult for water to pass through intrusive igneous rocks, they weather slowly. Check out the 3 Agents of Metamorphism.

9. What happens to Igneous Rocks that undergo Weathering and Erosion?

erosion of rocks - What happens to igneous rocks that undergo weathering and erosion? pic #2
Photo by Photoholgic on Unsplash

Sediment builds up in basins on the Earth’s surface as a result of weathering and erosion. So, exactly what happens to igneous rocks that undergo weathering and erosion? Well, it reduces the igneous rock to pebbles, sand, and mud. The silt near the bottom is compacted, becomes harder, and eventually forms sedimentary rock when additional sedimentary layers are deposited on top of one another. (See What are Factors affecting Soil Weathering?

10. Why are some Igneous Rocks more Resistant to Weathering?

Various rock varieties weather at varying speeds. Some forms of rock are remarkably resistant to deterioration. So, why are some igneous rocks more resistant to weathering? Because it is difficult for water to penetrate igneous rocks, particularly intrusive igneous rocks like granite, they weather slowly. Because they dissolve in weak acids, other forms of rock, including limestone, are more susceptible to weathering. (Also read What are the Uses of Rocks?)

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