What is the difference between chemical and mechanical weathering?



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    With mechanical weathering processes, rock is broken down to smaller pieces, but each piece retains the composition and main properties of the original. A type of mechanical weathering would include frost wedging, which is when water seeps into rocks and then expands while freezing, forcing the rock to break apart. With chemical weathering, the composition of the rock material is changed through a chemical reaction that makes it different then the original. The process of hydrolysis, where certain minerals known as silicates combine with acidic rainwater and form a new clay mineral, is an example of chemical weathering.

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