Geomorphology

Human Impacts on Weathering

Denver Kunaka Last edited:August 31, 2020

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Source Wikimedia commons

Humans also play a crucial role in determining weathering type and or rate of weathering.

Industrial Activities

Gases from factories and vehicles release considerable amounts of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere which result in acid rain production.

This acid rain has an effect on rocks such as limestone which causes carbonation and leads to their decomposition.

Moreover, when such gases are trapped in the atmosphere they cause high temperatures (global warming) which has can accelerate chemical weathering processes and also physical weathering such as insolation

Deforestation

Cutting down trees for commercial and non-commercial means more carbon dioxide remains unabsorbed which in turn results in more acidic rainfalls. Deforestation also exposes the rock to more agents of weathering such as high insolation which could lead to exfoliation.

Conversely, afforestation shelters the rock from agents of weathering and can also provide more humic acids for weathering.

Mining/Quarrying

The blasting effect to reveal mineral seems expose rocks to agents of weathering, e.g pressure release. In some mine shafts rock bursts can occur due to pressure release.

Veld Fires

Veld fires subject rocks to intense heat which can lead to thermal expansion or exfoliation.

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About Author

Denver is a Geographer, Web Developer, Graphic Designer, Blogger & Digital Marketer. He has come to know that everyday there's something new to learn :-)