Weathering and erosion, differential

Reference work entry
Weathering and erosion occur at varying rates within a given area. The variation is caused by differences in resistance or susceptibility of various rock types to weathering and erosion. The result is an uneven surface, with the more resistant rocks forming protrusions, hills, or ridges and the more susceptible rocks forming indentations or valleys. The scale of differential weathering and erosion can vary greatly, as almost all rock masses are affected. On a small scale, different minerals in the rock will vary in resistance so that rock surfaces become pitted or rough from differential weathering. On a larger scale, the resistance or susceptibility of various rock types to weathering and erosion can result in the formation of ridges and valleys (Byrne, 1963; Pipkin and Ploessel, 1973; Ploessel, 1973). This is particularly apparent in tilted sequences of sedimentary rocks. Differential weathering and erosion often result in uneven coastlines (Sunamura, 1973); headlands are formed of...
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© Hutchinson Ross Publishing Company 1982

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