Does weathering have an impact on soil formation?
There are a whole range of Physical, Chemical, and Biological weathering processes at work near the surface of the soil, acting together to breakdown rocks and minerals to form soil.
Weathering is a name given to the process by which rocks are broken down to form soils. It is a continuous process.
As rocks and sediments are eroded away, so more of the solid rock becomes vulnerable in turn to weathering and breakdown. Wind, rain, snow and ice start to have their effects on rocks and sediments. Once the process starts, then other physical, chemical and biological processes also start to contribute to the breakdown of rocks, leading to the formation of soil.
Rocks and geological sediments are the main parent materials of soils. It is from rocks and sediments that soils inherit their particular texture.
Weathering and the formation of soil provide an excellent example of the wonders of nature. It takes over 500 years to form just one centimetre of soil from some of the harder rocks. Huge amounts of rocks were broken down during the Ice Age over 10,000 years ago and converted into clays, sand or gravel, from which soils form.