Freeze-thaw weathering

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  • Freeze-thaw weathering
  • Oh, no! The snow has fallen onto me and now there is water in a crack in my surface!
  • Freeze-thaw weathering
  • Ow! The water has frozen overnight. Now, it has expanded and widened the crack. I have a headache...
  • Freeze-thaw weathering
  • What a relief. The ice has stopped expanding and actually melted. I feel much better.
  • Snow falls onto a rock, or ice melts, causing water to fall onto the rock. This water goes into a crack in the rock.
  • Freeze-thaw weathering
  • Overnight, as the temperatures drop, the water in the rock freezes to ice. The ice expands, causing the crack in the rock to expand as well.
  • Freeze-thaw weathering
  • This process has been going on for so long. I think I'm about to break apart.
  • The dew or precipitation refills the crack, which is now deeper and wider.
  • Freeze-thaw weathering
  • The water freezes and expands again, causing the crack in the rock to widen. This process continues.
  • The water is freezing and expanding again.
  • After a while, the crack has widened significantly. This will soon cause the rock to break.
  • When the crack has widened and lengthened enough, as the water freezes again, the rock will break.
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