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Physical weathering of granite

Physical weathering of granite

A350/0236

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Credit

MARTYN F. CHILLMAID / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY MARTYN F. CHILLMAID / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

Physical weathering of granite. Image 3 of 3. Piece of granite rock that has been shattered by a hammer after being heated in a bunsen burner flame and rapidly cooled in water, making it brittle and easy to shatter. This is the third and final stage of a laboratory experiment designed to show the effects of weathering on rocks. As rocks are heated in the day by the sun, and cooled at night, they become brittle. The rocks eventually break up and disintegrate, in a process known as physical (or mechanical) weathering. For a sequence of images showing the stages of this demonstration, see images A350/234 to A350/236.

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