Difference Between Erosion and Weathering

Erosion vs Weathering

Erosion and weathering are natural geological forces of nature that cause destruction of rocks and shape the surface of the earth. These processes are similar in nature in the sense that they take part in changing the topography of surface of earth but there are differences that need to be highlighted. Weathering refers to breaking up of rocks into smaller fragments as a result of forces of nature while erosion is a set of processes that involve winds, flowing water and movement of ice glaciers that take along the fragments created by weathering to newer locations.

In weathering, large rocks get broken because of action of weather but they do not mover to a new location. They simply remain next to one another while it is the action of wind, water and melting ice that takes some of these small pieces of rocks to new locations. Both weathering and erosion are a continuous process that keeps on acting all the time and it is not that first weathering takes place and then erosion takes the broken rock pieces to new locations. These are natural processes that continue unabated.

Weathering is classified as physical and chemical weathering. Physical weathering is all those processes that lead to breakage of rocks into smaller pieces such as collision, fracturing because of pressure or release of pressure caused by erosion of top level rocks, breaking that takes place because of inward growth of roots of plants and so on. Chemical weathering on the other hand is a result of water either through rainfall or from high streams, oxygenation of minerals present in rocks or when minerals in rocks dissolve completely in water.

Erosion is a set of processes that result in shaping of the landscape as rock pieces are brought down to lower levels by blowing winds, flowing water and the effects of gravity. The small pieces of rocks that we see around beaches and sides of rivers have origins high up in the mountains. Both weathering and erosion are constantly at work to reshape the surface of the earth into mountains, valleys, rivers and plains that are known as physical features. These physical features keep on changing on the geological time scale as a result of both these natural geological processes.

In brief:

Difference Between Erosion and Weathering

• Though both weathering and erosion help in reshaping the surface of earth, weathering is involved in breakage of rocks into smaller pieces whereas erosion it movement of these smaller fragments to newer locations as a result of blowing winds, flowing water and melting ice coupled with gravity.

• Weathering can be physical or chemical whereas erosion is plain movement of rock pieces from one place to another