What is frost wedging?

1 Answer
Dec 27, 2014

Frost wedging is caused by ice having a larger volume than water.

Imagine a tiny crack -- in a rock or in the paint on your house. Water seeps in, and when the water freezes, it expands a little bit, because the ice takes up a slightly larger volume than the water is was made from. So the crack becomes a tiny bit larger.
Next time, a little bit more water can seep in, and....

I think you will get the idea by now.

It is called wedging, because a wedge also gets slightly thicker as you hammer it into a crack. Frost wedging, of course, doesn't need a hammer, just repetition, over and over again. It will split rocks.