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"Examine the impact that weathering has had on human activity."

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Teacher: Mr Lee, Physical Geography, Joshua Malina 11/12/04 Essay title: "Examine the impact that weathering has had on human activity." Weathering has impacted human activity in a variety of ways. There are both positive and negative aspects of the result of weathering. Firstly, the negative impacts are to be discussed. Weathering often seems to be at a higher rate in urban areas than that of rural areas due to the large volumes of gases and pollution given out by industries and vehicles. When coal and oil are burnet sulphur dioxide is releases and when it combines with water vapour in the air dilute sulphuric acid is the product. Nitrogen oxides combine in a similar way to produce nitric acid. The result is acid rain. The acid rain chemically weathers materials away by decomposing the minerals. London is widely known for burning large doses of fossils fuels increasing the amount of acid rain. This rain has then fallen on buildings such as St. ...read more.


The salt crystallises and hydrates through the pores within underlying material causing salt crystal growth. This mechanical weathering exerts pressure on surrounding areas when water is heated and hence evaporates leaving the salt behind. The result is a pitted and uneven road surface that in time will need to be replenished due to its unsuitability for driving on and thus this costs large amounts of money. This process is also very common in arid coastal regions of Greece and Turkey which water is very quickly evaporated and leaves behind growing salt crystals. Freeze thaw weathering also impacts human activity because it degrades road surface quality. In Scotland for example due to the cold and icy climate freeze-thaw is a dominant process whereby water will get into cracks and fractures in the rock and expand during colder times by 9.05% (usually nights) and melts in warmer temperatures (usually day times). This again results in the roads having an uneven surface which are hard to drive on and an economic burden for the future. ...read more.


Mineral wealth includes petroleum, coal, tin, gold, and silver. Industries on the island at centres such as Jakarta and Surabaya are largely based on the processing of these agricultural and mineral products, with the addition of timber processing, chemicals, shipbuilding, and motor vehicle assembly. This will no doubt have allowed the people living there to sustain their living needs and also make money from selling excess as commercial produce. Weathering in southwest England, in particular Dartmoor has created China clay. The granitic rock there containing feldspar s decomposed by hydrolysis to form the white clay Kaolin. China clay production in Southwest England was estimated at 150million tonnes by the year 1998. This material is used to produce porcelain ceramics and paper. It is employed in natural and synthetic rubber compounds, plastics, white cement, glass fibre, fertilisers, pesticides, weed killers, paints and protective coatings, crayons, cosmetics, medicines, and new uses are constantly being developed. This opens up many industries for the UK which undoubtedly contributes to a reasonable sum of the UK's annual real GDP. Overall, it be seen that weathering gives both advantages and disadvantages to human activity in a variety of ways. ...read more.

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