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Meghan Brockmeyer

Mr. Kemp

APES

3/3/09

Chapter 16 FRQ

A) The building up and breaking down of our earth is caused by both internal and

external processes that serve as compensating factors on the ever-changing

landscape of our planet. The internal forces (the forces that “build up” our earth)

that directly cause such activities as plate tectonics, convection currents,

volcanoes, and island creations are heat and gravity. Both of these principles

create the immense pressure and high temperatures that heat the core and give the

mantle its flexibility. Through such processes plate boundaries collide, separate,

and subside which in turn generate the movement of continents and ocean

shelves. Additionally, internal geologic processes can determine the quantity and

location of a mineral resource within the earth’s crust. The external forces that

weather, erode, and change the surface features of our earth’s landscape are water,

the sun, and gravity. Each of these forces contributes to the production of

landforms through sediment buildup and breakdown. Erosion and Weathering are

key processes within the earth’s external forces, as wind, water, and human

activities move, extract, and change soil while physical, chemical, and biological

forces break down rocks and minerals to be eroded.

B) Mechanical and Chemical Weathering differ by the various ways in which large

rock masses are broken down. In mechanical weathering, rocks are broken down
into smaller fragments many times through pressure, force, or frost-wedging. The

most common example of mechanical weathering is when water collects in pores

and cracks of rock, and that water expands upon freezing, splitting the rock and

hence causing frost-wedging. Chemical weathering is distinguishable because it is

when rocks are decomposed by chemical reactions that usually are solid and

dissolved components. Frequently occurring examples of chemical weathering are

when rock material reacts with oxygen, carbon dioxide, and moisture in the

atmosphere, gradually softens and breaks apart.

C) The processes of weathering and erosion are different in that weathering breaks

down rock and erosion transports broken down and worm away materials to other

places. Both process contribute to the movement and deterioration of rock as

expressed in the rock cycle but the two forces are different in their approach to

dislocate rocks from their original state or location. Weathering is specifically

powered by mechanical or chemical processes that overturn rocks, sediments and

soil. Erosion mostly displaces loosened materials such as rocks and soil through

wind and water.

D) Three fundamental processes of the rock cycle are:

a. Melting- Process in which rocks undergo intense amounts of heat and

pressure, where they either turn to magma, cool, and form igneous rocks,

or (if they are already igneous) directly undergo direct heat and pressure

and become metamorphic rock (Granite, Pumice, Basalt).

b. Erosion- Process in which igneous or metamorphic rocks weather, erode,

and break down, eventually going through transpiration and deposition to


become sedimentary rock (ex. Slat, Sandstone, Limestone).

c. Metamorphism- Process in which rocks undergo EXTERNAL heat,

pressure, and stress and are compacted enough so that they become

metamorphic rock (ex. Slate, Marble, Quartz).