Earth Science

Surface Processes and Landforms

Weathering and Erosion

Study Tip
Remember your “W”s! Water and Wind can cause Weathering.


Weathering is the process that changes solid rock into sediments. Rock disintegrates, or breaks into pieces.

  • Once these sediments are separated from the rocks, erosion is the process that moves the sediments
  • Plate tectonics forces work to build huge mountains and other landscapes, but the forces of weathering gradually wear those rocks and landscapes away
  • Together with erosion, tall mountains turn into hills and plains
  • Weathering takes time (thousands and millions of years)
Study Tip
Study Tip
The same way a person may cast a shadow over another person when they stand under the sun, planets or celestial bodies that have aligned themselves cast shadows over one another as well.
Remember your “W”s! Water and Wind can cause Weathering.
 road surface has cracks  and fractures
A once smooth road surface has cracks and fractures, plus a large pothole.
Concept Check
  • What is weathering?
  • How is weathering different from erosion?
  • Why does weathering take so much time?