Weathering, Erosion, and Susceptibility to Weathering

  • H. Robert G. K. HackEmail author


Soft grounds are often the result of weathering. Weathering is the chemical and physical change in time of ground under influence of atmosphere, hydrosphere, cryosphere, biosphere, and nuclear radiation (temperature, rain, circulating groundwater, vegetation, etc.). Erosion is the removal of material on or below the Earth surface due to flowing (ground) water, ice, and wind. Quantities of weathered material do not need to be large to change the geotechnical properties of a groundmass, for example, weathering of discontinuity walls that reduce the shear strength. Weathering is the reason for disasters in many constructions and other engineering applications in which ground is used. The processes involved in weathering are described briefly as well as the role of erosion in weathering and weathering depth. The dependence of weathering on lithology, implications for engineering applications, the methodology for describing and classification of weathering, and options for determining the susceptibility to weathering for forecasting future weathering are introduced. Hard layer or crust forming as result of weathering and tests for determining the state of weathering and susceptibility to weathering conclude the chapter.


Ground Weathering Susceptibility to weathering Geomechanical properties Degradation Erosion Hard layer 


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Engineering Geology, ESA, Faculty of Geo-Information Science and Earth Observation (ITC)University of TwenteEnschedeThe Netherlands

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