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How does frost weathering work?

2 min read

Asked by: Denise Marshall

Frost wedging is the process by which water seeps into cracks in a rock, expands on freezing, and thus enlarges the cracks (Figure 5.5). The effectiveness of frost wedging is related to the frequency of freezing and thawing. Frost wedging is most effective in a climate like Canada’s.

How does frost action cause weathering?

Frost action is an effective form of mechanical weathering. When water trickles down into fractures and pores of rock, then freezes, its volume increases by almost 10 percent. This causes outward pressure of about 30,000 pounds per square inch at -7.6 Fahrenheit.

How does frost action works?

Frost action involves the weathering processes caused by repeated cycles of freezing and thawing (the “multigelation” of some European writers). Frost action is thus differentiated from glacial action, which involves the processes related to moving ice.

How does the frost wedging cause weathering?

Frost wedging happens when water gets in crack, freezes, and expands. This process breaks rocks apart. When this process is repeated, cracks in rocks get bigger and bigger (see diagram below) and may fracture, or break, the rock.

How is frost action formed?

Frost action occurs when water freezes and expands in open spaces in rocks, pushing fragments apart. Daily or seasonal heating and cooling causes rocks to expand and contract, breaking them along grain boundaries.

How does the frost weathering crack rock?

The Process of Freeze-Thaw Weathering
Water enters the rocks through cracks and holes. Extremely cold temperatures cause the water within the rocks to freeze and expand, causing the cracks in the rock to widen. The ice will melt and travel deeper into the cracks of the rock.

How does the frost action help in weathering of rocks for Class 9?

The disintegration of the bedrock due to changes in temperature and freezing action of water by mechanical process is called physical weathering e.g. frost or snow lying between the cracks forces to expand the rocks cracks which helps in disintegration.