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Erosion

In this worksheet, students will be looking at how rocks can be worn away over time.

'Erosion' worksheet

Key stage:  KS 3

Curriculum topic:   Chemistry: Earth and Atmosphere

Curriculum subtopic:   Rock Cycle and Formation

Difficulty level:  

Worksheet Overview

QUESTION 1 of 10

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 fragments 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. 

 

Eroded rock

 

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

How does a beach form?

 

Beach

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

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

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

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

Which is the most powerful of the forces that cause erosion?

sun

water

wind

ice

  • Question 1

How does a beach form?

 

Beach

CORRECT ANSWER
over time the sea bumps rocks together, breaking them up into pebbles and sand
EDDIE SAYS
Over a long period of time sea waves crash and roll rocks along the seashore, gradually breaking them down into smaller and smaller pieces.
  • Question 2

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

CORRECT ANSWER
some rocks are harder than others and take longer to break up
EDDIE SAYS
Some rocks, such as sandstone, break up more readily than other harder rocks such as granite.
  • Question 3

When water freezes and turns to ice it expands.

 

How could this break up rocks?

CORRECT ANSWER
the expanding ice forces open cracks in the rock
EDDIE SAYS
Water that gets into cracks in the surface of the rock will open them up as it freezes and expands. This is called frost shattering.
  • Question 4

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

CORRECT ANSWER
the rocks are worn away by small particles carried in the wind
EDDIE SAYS
Where there is no shelter particles carried in the wind can be a powerful force for erosion. If you have ever felt the sand sting your face on a windy day at the beach you have an idea how strong this force can be.
  • Question 5

Which is the most powerful of the forces that cause erosion?

CORRECT ANSWER
ice
EDDIE SAYS
All over the world there are valleys that were carved out thousands of years ago by great rivers of moving ice called glaciers. Ice has the power to, literally, shape the planet.
---- OR ----

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