We have been continuing our study of weathering, erosion, and deposition. This week, our focus has been on erosion. What does Erosion mean? Come see all that we’ve learned, and of course the great books we’ve discovered along the way!
What Is Erosion?
Erosion is the processes by which water, wind, ice, or gravity MOVES weathered rock or soil. Depending on the type of force, erosion can happen quickly or take thousands of years. Essentially, the land is worn away or MOVED by different forces.
Three Main Forces of Erosion
There are three main forces of erosion: water, wind, and glaciers. Erosion by water is the main cause of erosion on Earth. This can happen by rainfall, rivers, waves, and floods. Water carries away or MOVES particles along river bottoms and gulley’s, waves shift rocks and entire coastlines.
Wind is a major type of erosion in especially dry areas. The wind erodes by picking up or moving loose particles of weathered rocks and soil…think dust storms! Erosion can also happen by glaciers which are giant rivers of ice that slowly move, carving out valleys and shaping mountains.
Effects of Erosion
Erosion is the process by which bits of rock or soil are MOVED. If water is muddy or cloudy, it can be a sign that erosion is taking place and sediment is suspended in the water. Waves can bore holes into the sides of cliffs to form caves. They can also wash away shoreline, leaving structures dangerously close to the sea.
For thousands of years, wind and water have eroded entire mountain ranges. This is why the Appalachian Mountain range of North America, though one of the oldest mountain ranges in the world, is also one of the shortest in height. It is thought that they had once reached a similar elevation as the Alps in Switzerland! Thank you, erosion!
Is Erosion The Same Weathering?
No, erosion is the process by which water, ice, wind, or gravity MOVES or CARRIES the weathered rock or soil away. Weathering is the breaking down and loosening of rock and soil into smaller pieces. Imagine you knock a chunk of rock out of a mountain…that’s weathering! Now throw that chunk of rock off the mountain…that’s erosion! The Grand Canyon in Colorado is a classic form or erosion.
I took these beautiful pictures when we went on our trip to the Grand Canyon one summer. We learned so much about weathering, erosion and deposition!
Is Erosion The Same As Deposition?
No, deposition is the process in which sediment or soil is laid down or ACCUMULATES in NEW LOCATIONS, and erosion is the process of MOVING rock or soil. Remember that rock you threw off the mountain? Where did it land? That’s deposition! Sand dunes are a classic example of deposition.
Books about Erosion
Books are a favorite way to learn around here. So we were excited to find several all about erosion! Cracking Up: A Story About Erosion describes the process of erosion and how water, ice, wind, and sun wear away at Earth’s surface.
Learn about the natural forces of erosion and how they shape the land with the book Erosion: Changing Earth’s Surface. This detailed book blends video game illustrations with scientific facts!
Grand Canyon: A Trail Through Time is a lovely children’s book that explores the creation of the 7th Wonder of the World, the Grand Canyon, through the process of erosion. It also acquaints readers with the ecology of the canyon with gorgeous illustrations.
Erosion and Weathering (Rocks: the Hard Facts)Erosion: Changing Earth’s Surface (Amazing Science)Cracking Up: A Story About Erosion (Science Works)Soil Erosion and How to Prevent It (EverybodyExamining Erosion (Searchlight Books: Do You Dig EarthWeathering and Erosion (Science Readers: Content and Literacy)
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