Erosion Below The Surface

Before we tell you how weather and the elements get inside the rocks, we have to explain what we mean. The land erodes. When it rains or the air heats up, how can it affect rocks deep inside if everything is solid? Good question! We're glad you asked.

ONE: We talked about volcanoes before. Those volcanoes have lava vesicles (the tubes that bring lava to the surface). When those vesicles cool, sometimes holes remain. Those holes are like tubes that go directly into the bedrock. Weather, water, and heat/cold can get in those vesicles and affect the bedrock.

TWO: When any type of earthquake happens, sometimes faults develop. Those faults are cracks in the surface and in the bedrock. Wherever there is a way in, the weather will get inside and start eroding the bedrock.

THREE: You already know that the Earth is always moving. When stress on the land happens, small joints can occur. Joints are tiny cracks in the land. They aren't big like a fault. They are small cracks sometimes created by folding on the surface.

FOUR: Solution cavities are something special. There are special rocks out there with a lot of calcium. Limestone is a good example. Those rocks are (compared to others) very soft. When water gets near them, the rocks can dissolve easily. When they dissolve, cavities are created. Those cavities are small holes in the rocks. As time passes, the holes allow more and more water in, and the temperature/weather begins to erode the rock.

FIVE: Last are the super tiny holes, microscopic spaces in between the molecules and small pieces of rock. When we talk about water getting inside those, we don't mean rushing rivers down a lava vesicle. We are talking about molecules of water. The molecules seep between the molecules of rock. When that seeping happens, it is similar to the percolation during groundwater creation.

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