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11 Cards in this Set

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chemical weathering
the type of weathering that occurs when air, water, and other substances react with minerals in rocks
humus
dark-colored, decayed organic matter in soil that serves as a nutrient source for plants, promotes good soil structure, and helps soil hold water
weathering
mechanical or chemical process that breaks down rocks into smaller and smaller fragments
horizon
a soil layer in the soil profile; most areas have three--the A horizon (top soil layer), the B horizon (middle soil layer), and the C horizon (bottom layer)
ice wedging
mechanical weathering process that occurs when water freezes in the cracks of rocks and expands, breaking the rock apart
litter
leaves, twigs, and other organic matter in the A horizon when it is exposed to decomposing organisms
climate
pattern of weather that occurs in a particular area over many years
soil profile
vertical section of soil layers
mechanical weathering
physical process that breaks rocks apart without changing their chemical composition
oxidation
chemical weathering process that occurs when a material such as iron is exposed to oxygen and water; causes the iron in rock to rust and turn reddish
soil
material that supports vegetation and is a mixture of weathered rock, mineral fragments, organic matter, water, and air; may take thousands of years to form