Erosion
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  • Introduction
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Rocks can be hard wearing and long lasting but, over time, even solid rocks can break down and wear away. Heat, cold, rain and ice break the rock into tiny fragements that are carried away by wind or water.  Some rocks are harder wearing than others. You can see this if you rub a piece of chalk against a piece of granite. Bits of the chalk rub off easily but the granite doesn't seem to wear at all.

The wearing away of rock is called erosion. Sometimes it can leave strange shapes where softer rocks are worn away first, leaving harder rocks behind. 

Use this worksheet to test what you know about rocks and erosion.

  • Question 1
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How does a beach form?

over time the sea bumps rocks together, breaking them up into pebbles and sand

small sea creatures nibble the rocks

the rocks are dissolved by the sea

  • Question 2
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Why might you find rocks of different sizes along the seashore?

some rocks have only just arrived and not been broken up yet

some rocks are harder than others and take longer to break up

people might have dumped rocks there

  • Question 3
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When water freezes and turns to ice it expands. How could this break up rocks?

when rock gets cold it becomes more fragile

the ice rubs the rock away

the expanding ice forces open cracks in the rock

  • Question 4
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How does sand form in the desert where there is no sea?

the hot sun makes the rocks crumble

the rocks are worn away by small particles carried in the wind

there was a sea there once but it dried up

  • Question 5
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Which is the most powerful of the forces that cause erosion?

sun

water

wind

ice

Progress