View of granite rock undergoing exfoliation

View of granite rock undergoing exfoliation


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Exfoliation. View of 80 million year old granite rock in the Mojave Desert undergoing 'onion skin' weathering or exfoliation. The granite (foreground) is shedding its outer layers. This type of weathering is found in deserts and other areas of temperature extremes. In the desert, groundwater, containing dissolved salts, is drawn up into the granite rock by capillarity. When it reaches the surface the water will evaporate causing salt crystals to grow. This in turn will cause the surface of the rock to flake and peel away. Photographed in California, USA.

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