Sie sind auf Seite 1von 5

CONTENT TOPIC: II.

EARTH MATERIALS AND PROCESSES


B. Endogenic Processes

LEARNING COMPETENCIES:
1. Describe where the Earth’s internal heat comes from. S11/12ES-Ib-14
2. Describe how magma is formed (magmatism). S11/12ES-Ic-15
3. Describe what happens after the magma is formed (plutonism and volcanism). S11/12ES-
Ic-16
4. Describe the changes in mineral components and texture of rocks due to changes in
pressure and temperature (metamorphism). S11/12ES-Ic-17
5. Compare and contrast the formation of the different types of igneous rocks. S11/12ES-Ic-
18
6. Describe how rocks behave under different types of stress such as compression, pulling
apart, and shearing. S11/12ES-Ic-19

MAGMATISM

Magma originates when essentially solid rock located in the crust and upper mantle melts.
There are factors that influence the generation of magma from solid rock.

Heat
The Earth’s natural temperature increase with depth (geothermal gradient) is not sufficient to
melt rock at the lower crust and upper mantle. Additional heat is generated by friction in
subduction zones, heating of crustal rocks during subduction, rising, hot mantle rocks

Pressure
The increase in confining pressure causes an increase in melting temperature, while the drop in
confining pressure can cause decompression melting thus lowering the melting temperature.

Volatiles
It plays an important role in subducting ocean plates. Volatiles cause rock to melt at a lower
temperature.

Partial melting
a. Igneous rocks are mixtures of minerals
b. Melting occurs over a range of temperatures
c. Produces a magma with a higher silica content than the original rock

EXOGENIC PROCESSES

Exogenic processes breakdown rocks and erode rock fragments from higher energy sites
transporting them to locations of lower energy. The relocation of rock fragments can be
accomplished by the force of gravity alone or with the help of one of the geomorphic agents-
flowing water, wind, moving ice, or waves.
Gravity constantly pulls downward on all Earth surface materials. Weakened rock and broken
rock fragments are especially susceptible to downslope movement by gravity, which may be
slow and barely noticeable or rapid and catastrophic. Slope instability causes costly damage to
buildings, roadways, pipelines, and other types of construction and is also responsible for injury
and loss of life. Some gravity-induced slope movements are entirely natural in origin, but human
actions contribute to the occurrence of others.

Weathering

Weathering is the general terms applied to the combined action of all physical and chemical
process that disintegrates and decompose rocks near Earth’s surface through the elements of
weather. Weathering begins as soon as rocks are exposed to one or more elements of weather on
the surface of Earth. Generally, the disintegration and decomposition process act together, but
one may be dominant, depending on the climate. In addition, the weathered material lies on top
of the unweathered layer of rock.

Physical Weathering

Physical weathering happens whenever rocks are broken up without any change in their chemical
composition. Sometimes called mechanical weathering, this type of weathering takes place in
different ways depending on the factor that acts on the rock. These factors include pressure,
warm temperature, water and ice. Examples of physical weathering include block disintegration,
exfoliation, and frost action.

Block disintegration is caused by successive heating and cooling which causes the expansion
and contraction of rocks. In hot desert regions, the high diurnal range of temperature of day and
night causes successive expansion and contraction of the rocks. This repeated expansion and
contraction creates stress along the joints, eventually breaking down the rock, block by block.

Exfoliation is the stripping of the outer layers of rocks due to intense heating. Since rocks are
poor conductors of heat, the inner layers remain almost unaffected by heat. The successive
expansion and contraction of the outer layers of the rock peels off from the main rock in the form
of concentric shells.

Frost weathering refers to the alternate freezing and thawing of water inside the joints of the
rocks, causing them to split into small particles or fragments. This occurs because the conversion
of water into ice increases the volume of water by 10 percent. This is the most important physical
weathering process in cold regions.

Chemical Weathering

Chemical weathering is the weakening or disintegration of rocks and the formation of new
compounds or new substances caused by chemical reactions. Chemical process includes
oxidation, hydrolysis, and acid action.
Oxidation is the process in which oxygen reacts with the rock and changes its mineral
composition. The greatest impact of this process is observed on ferrous minerals, which contain
iron. The oxygen in humid air reacts with iron in the rocks to form oxides of iron called rust.
Rust can break down rocks completely, given enough amount of time.

Carbonation is the process involving the formation of various types of carbonates in rocks.
Some of these carbonates are soluble in water. For example, when rainwater containing carbon
dioxide forms carbonic acid, it passes through permeable limestone rocks. This process results in
the enlargement of rocks and removal of lime, which holds the particles together.

Hydration is the result of the absorption or combination of water and a particular substance on
the rock, leading to a change in shape. The addition of water in the rock increases its volume,
which changes the shape of the grains. Feldspar, for example, is changed into kaolin through
hydration.

Solution is the process in which some of the minerals in rocks are directly dissolved in water. As
water continues to remove substances in rocks, the rock is deformed, broken into pieces, and
disintegrated. Rock salt and gypsum are removed through this process.

Biotic Weathering

Biotic or biological weathering is the weathering or disintegration of rocks caused by living


organisms. Plants contribute to both mechanical and chemical weathering. The roots of the
plants penetrate into the joints of the rocks searching for moisture. As the roots grow larger and
thicker, they exert pressure on the rocks. The pressure acts as a wedge, widening and extending
the cracks, and breaking the rock fragments. Animals like earthworms, rats, rabbits, terminates
and ants breakdown the rocks through burrowing. These disintegrated rocks can be easily being
exposed to more intense processes, or be eroded or removed by other agents. The action of
microbe on rocks changes the chemical composition of rocks. This makes the rocks more
susceptible to weathering. Humans play a very important role in the weathering of rocks.
Provisions for agriculture, construction of houses, and construction of roads, among others,
require large amounts of rocks to be broken down. Mining minerals also require breaking,
weakening, and loosening of rocks. The increase of acid rain is mainly due to human activities.
An increase in pollution also results in an increased amount of weathering agents in soil, water,
and wind.

Mass Wasting

Mass wasting refers to the downslope movement of rock, regolith, and soil because of gravity.
Mass wasting is a natural process, which follows weathering. It is considered a natural hazard.
Mass wastings are classified based on their moisture or water content and speed, or rate of
movement. The saturation of water destroys the cohesion of rock particles, causing them to
become loose. Water also adds weight to a mass, causing their downslope slide or flow. The
speed of downward movement of rocks results when air becomes trapped and compressed
beneath the falling mass. This allows the mass to move as a buoyant, flexible sheet across the
surface. Removal of anchoring vegetation and ground vibrations from earthquakes may also
cause mass wasting.
The type of mass wasting process is generally defined by the type of material involved and the
movement of the material. In terms of material involved, it could be debris, mud, earth, or rock.
Based on the movement, there is fall (free-fall of pieces), slide (materials moves along a well-
defined surface), or flow (material moves as a viscous fluid).
The six forms of mass wasting are slump, rockslide, debris flow, earthflow, creep and
solifluction.
Slump is the rapid movement of material along a curved surface or an over steepened slopes.
Rockslide is the rapid movement of blocks of bedrock down a slope.
Debris flow or mudflow is the rapid movement of debris with water and may cause serious
problem in dry areas with heavy rains. The debris flow is composed mostly of volcanic materials
called lahars.
Earthflow is the rapid movement of materials when water saturates the soil. It occurs on
hillsides in humid regions. Liquefaction is a special type of earthflow sometimes associated with
earthquakes.
Creep is the slow movement of soil and regolith downhill causing fences and utility poles to tilt.
Solifluction is a slow movement of materials that occurs in areas underlain by permafrost.

Soil Erosion

Soil erosion is the process of recycling Earth materials. The natural rate of soil erosion depends
on the soil characteristics, climate, slope and type of vegetation. The product of weathering is the
disintegration of rocks into particles of soil. The removal of soil at a greater rate than its
replacement by natural agencies is known as soil erosion.

Wind erosion happens when winds carry vast quantity of fine soil particles and sand away from a
region, spreading it over adjoining cultivated land and destroying their fertility. It takes place in
and around all dessert regions of the world.

Sheet erosion is the removal of thin layers of soil because of surface runoff and rain. This type of
erosion is common along the riverbeds and areas affected by floods. If left unattended, the soil
could be completely exhausted or devoid of nutrients due to removal of topsoil, rendering it
completely unusable for agriculture.

Rill erosion is the removal of soil by the action of concentrated running water. This process
creates numerous centimeter-deep tiny channels called rills, which carry water during storms.

Gully erosion is the removal of soil in water channels or drainage lines. The gullies gradually
multiply and spread over a wide area. The land being dissected is called badlands or ravines.

References:

Olivar II, Jose T., Morales-Ramos, Anna Cherylle. Exploring Life through Science, Earth and
Life Science. Quezon City: Phoenix Publishing House, Inc., 2016