How Does Water Change Earth’s Surface?

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Weathering, erosion and deposition are changing the surface of the Earth around you. Water is an important cause of these changes. You will learn that water changes the Earth surface in different ways. Some of these changes are easy to observe because they occur quickly. But sometimes these changes occur over millions of years!

1. Rainwater causes erosion and erosion

You learned that water can resist rocks and erode the soil. These processes change the surface of the Earth and, when a lot of water flows, these changes can happen quickly.

Think of the last time there was a storm where you live. During a storm, rainwater can erode the soil very quickly. You may see raindrops splashing, movement soil in a bare place of earth. When rainwater hits the ground, it loosens the ground on the surface. This is the beginning of erosion. The water splashes bits of dirt and small rocks and begins to flow downhill. When it rains enough, small currents begin to form. Eventually, small currents join in larger currents and then in rivers.

The strength of this water carries pieces of rock and earth along with it. Then, in minutes or hours, a strong storm can cause a lot of erosion. Rainwater can also withstand rocks. Think of the sequence during a heavy rain storm again. As the water rushes over the ground, the pieces of sand and dirt it carries slowly grind the rock on which they flow. Part of the rainwater also flows to the ground and the rock. Very slowly, the water mixes with some of the minerals in the rock and soil. Minerals are the chemicals from which the rock is made. Because minerals are mixed with water, they are transported as the water flows. The movement of these minerals changes the structure of the rock. In this way, rainwater ages the rock.
How Does Water Change Earth’s Surface

2. Rainwater causes deposition

Over time, the rain tires the rock. It also erodes large amounts of material. What about the eroded pieces of rock and earth?

The rainwater that carries sand, rocks and soil will eventually stop moving. When the water stops moving, deposit sand, rock or soil in new areas. These little ones the pieces of sand, rock and soil are now settled. The sediment is any eroded material, such as eroded rocks, sand and soil, which is deposited in a new place.



As the rain decreases, the rainwater that flows through the ground begins to decrease. In general, larger pieces of material are deposited and deposited first. During a heavy rainstorm, you may see a small layer of rocks on the sidewalk. As the rain turns to drizzle or comes to a complete stop, the water deposits the smallest pieces of material, such as sand or earth.

Deposition makes layers

Sometimes rainwater deposits sediments in more than one layer. After a storm, you may see a layer of dry mud covering some of the sidewalks or streets. This mud is made of many small pieces of sediment. If it rains again several days later, a new layer of sediment will be deposited on the first layer. The new layer could be made from a different type of sediment. Therefore, you may see different colors or textures of the original mud layer.

3. Deposition helps form new rocks

Suppose you are in the Grand Canyon. You may notice that it is made of many layers of rock of different colors. Where do these layers come from? These layers of rock were formed by deposition. Much of this material was deposited by the water at different times. Some of the rocks in the Grand Canyon are 2 billion years old!

Remember how rainwater can deposit layers of sediment along the sidewalk? In some places on Earth, the same thing happens on a much larger scale. Many large rivers deposit large amounts of sediment where they slow down or reach the sea. After many years, these sediments can be added to form a deep layer. Sometimes he
the environment changes and a new type of sediment begins to settle. This forms a different layer. New layers are always formed at the top of the previous layers.

As more sediment is deposited, the sediment buries and changes over time. The sediment is heavier than water. The upper layers push down the layers below they, and the pieces of rock and earth are broken together. The minerals in the water can act as glue to help the pieces adhere to each other. Eventually, the material can
become solid rock The rock that forms from the deposited sediment is called sedimentary rock. Many of the rocks on Earth’s surface are sedimentary rocks.

4. River water erodes and erodes

Weathering, erosion and deposition can occur very quickly, but it usually takes a long time to change a complete landscape. The Grand Canyon was carved by these processes, but it took millions of years.

A canyon is a deep valley carved by water in a rocky area. The Grand Canyon is one of the deepest canyons in the world. In the lower part of the Grand Canyon flows the Colorado River. Millions of years ago, this river began to flow and ride the rock in the area.

Weather alone can not sculpt a cannon. Erosion must also happen. As the Colorado River carried large amounts of sediment from the canyon to the ocean, the water eroded the rock. Most scientists believe that the river took about 6 million years to erode and erode the entire Grand Canyon. Recently, other scientists found new evidence that the canyon could be more than 17 million years old. Scientific explanations can change and improve with new evidence.



Erosion and weathering can make an area look completely different. The Colorado River still runs through the Grand Canyon, deepening it over time.

5. Ice causes weathering and erosion

He learned how liquid water can cause material on the surface of the Earth to erode, erode and deposit. Frozen water can also cause these changes on Earth surface.

One way ice can support rocks is with an ice wedge. Ice wedging is a process in which the cracks in a rock get bigger because the water inside them freezes. Ice wedging occurs because water takes up more space when frozen in ice.

First, a rock with a crack is filled with liquid water from the rain or some other source. Then, the temperature drops below the freezing point. The water starts to freeze and expand. Ice occupies more space than liquid water. The expanding ice pushes against the inside of the crack. Separates the sides of the rock and makes Biggest crack When the weather warms, the ice melts. As the crack is now larger, more water can enter and freeze. This pattern repeats itself. Each time the water it freezes, expands and the crack enlarges.

Erosion also occurs with the coining of ice. The wedging of ice causes pieces of rock to fall off. These pieces that break the ice do not always stay in the crack.

Often, melted ice, rain or other water sources move these rock fragments away from the crack. Gravity can cause the pieces to fall too. In this way, the eroded rock erodes.

6. Glaciers cause weathering, erosion and deposition

Glaciers are another way in which ice erodes and erodes rock. They also move weathered rocks and deposit them as sediments. This happens in high mountain valleys and in cold places like Antarctica. The ice of the glaciers begins like snow. A glacier is a river of ice that moves slowly. The glaciers are formed where it is so cold that not all the snow melts in the summer. Over time, so much snow accumulates that it squeezes and sticks.

Very slowly, the glacier flows down the mountain. Glaciers weave and erode rocks as they flow through valleys. The glaciers are slow, but they are so big that they create a lot of force The weight of the ice scraping along the ground grinds large amounts of rock underneath them. This weathered material moves downhill with the glacier. Large glaciers create entire valleys and change the V-shape of the river valleys to a U-shape. A U-shaped valley is evidence that once there was a glacier flowing through the valley

The glaciers deposit large amounts of rock, sand and mud at their bases. The glacier carries its sediment through the valley to the lower elevations, where it is warmer. This part of the glacier begins to break and melt. Here, it deposits the soil and rocks that it carried. This is usually many kilometers from where the glacier began.

The dripping water did that!

Weathering and erosion can create deep canyons and huge caves. Water also causes special types of deposition in deep caves. These look like delicate works of art. How does the water create rock sculptures?

Every year, thousands of people visit huge caves. They travel from all over the world to have the opportunity to venture through labyrinthine passages. Jewel Cave in the south Dakota and Mammoth Cave in Kentucky are two of the longest caves in the world. You could walk more than a hundred kilometers in each one! But people do not visit
these underground worlds to see how far they can walk. Believe it or not, they are there to see the deposition.



These huge and similar caves, such as the Oregon Caves in Oregon and the Carlsbad Cavern in New Mexico, are not located close to each other. And they are in very different climates. Even so, they are all made up of the same material: limestone. Deposition in limestone caves is more than just layers of clay or sand.
Cone-shaped rocks rise from the ground. Some cones hang from the ceiling.

There are also stones in the form of curtains, columns, icicles or drinking straws. All these forms are created by water, one drop at a time. Visitors to the caves want to learn exactly how dripping water could make such incredible stone shapes. But how were the caves formed in the first place?

Water in caves

Some caves are formed through erosion and erosion on the surface of the Earth. Wind and water can carve a cave from the side of a cliff. This type of cave could be the home of
animals like bears.

Other types of caves are formed when water flows underground. It moves through spaces in the ground and down through cracks in solid rock. If this rock is limestone, water mix and take the stone. The minerals that make up the limestone are completely mixed with the water that moves on it. The rooms and passages of A limestone cave is formed when the water mixes with the rock and takes it away.

As the water continues to drip into the open spaces of the cave, it carries more minerals. The water deposits minerals on the floor or ceiling of the cave. Drip drip, these minerals accumulate for thousands of years. This drip and deposit creates all the different and surprising stone forms found in a cave.

If you ever visit a limestone cave, you are likely to feel a lot of moisture in the air. Usually, you will hear the water dripping. This means that the cave is still forming. While there is water in a cave, it will continue modeling the cave and its rock formations. A cave that is still growing and changing is called an active cave. In active caves, water can also form ponds of caves and streams.

Cave cones

If you want to experience what a cave is like, go to a room and turn off the lights. Without artificial light, a cave is completely dark. You can not see anything But
with lights, beautiful formations can be revealed.

You may see cones hanging to the floor. The stalactites are long cave formations that grow from the roof. The stalactites look like icicles. The water that seeps into a limestone cave drips from the ceiling. Water leaves minerals that form thin, hollow tubes. These stalactites look like soda straws, which is what they are called. Over time, water can flow along the outer edge of the soda straw, depositing more minerals. These minerals eventually make the shape of the icicle.

In a cave, you can also see cones that reach the top of the cave. These are called stalagmites. They are formed because water dripping from the ceiling of a cave can
deposits minerals on the floor. Stalagmites are often found directly under a stalactite. The stalagmites can be wide or narrow, tall or short. A stalactite and a
The stalagmite can grow so long that they are. When they do, they become a very large structure called a column.

Cave textures

If you visit a cave, you should not touch any of its surfaces. Some formations can break very easily. Then, even just touching others can damage them. This is because
the oils in your skin can change the minerals. To satisfy curious visitors and keep caves safe, guides often have samples that visitors can feel. If you could touch a cave, you would feel many different textures.

The stones that fall from the walls and the ceiling feel very rough. So do the eroded limestone surfaces. Another cave formation occurs where water splashes and
leaves minerals behind It’s called cave popcorn. Like the food, the popcorn in the cave has a very uneven and uneven surface.

Other surfaces in a limestone cave are very soft. The flowstone looks like a liquid and is often described as a frozen waterfall. Other surfaces called “curtains” are seen
like soft and folded fabric. The curtains with brown and toasted stripes are called “cave bacon”. With roofs hung with bacon and floors covered in popcorn, it’s a wonderful journey.
Guides can prevent visitors from trying cave formations! Of course, if they did, the only thing they would get would be a bite of stones.





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