Encyclopedia of Engineering Geology

2018 Edition
| Editors: Peter T. Bobrowsky, Brian Marker

Chemical Weathering

  • Isabel M. R. DuarteEmail author
  • Celso S. F. Gomes
  • António B. Pinho
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-73568-9_49


Chemical action; Chemical alteration; Chemical decomposition; Chemical process; Chemical reactions


Weathering of rocks caused by the chemical action of water containing atmospheric oxygen, carbon dioxide, and some organic acids in solution on the rock-forming minerals leading to an adjustment of the mineralogical composition with the formation of new minerals, like hydrous phyllosilicates, iron oxides/hydroxides, soluble salts, and other alteration products, consisting of rock decay by chemical decomposition.


Chemical processes need water, occurring more rapidly at higher temperature, so they are more common in warm and wet climates. There are different types of chemical weathering processes, such as solution, hydration, hydrolysis, carbonation, oxidation, reduction, and chelation. Some of these reactions occur more easily when the water is slightly acidic. Weathering of rocks is a fundamental phenomenon for the formation of the soil, and therefore...

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Authors and Affiliations

  • Isabel M. R. Duarte
    • 1
    Email author
  • Celso S. F. Gomes
    • 2
  • António B. Pinho
    • 1
  1. 1.GeoBioTec Research Centre (UID/GEO/04035/2013), Department of Geosciences, School of Sciences and TechnologyUniversity of ÉvoraÉvoraPortugal
  2. 2.GeoBioTec Research Centre (UID/GEO/04035/2013), Department of GeosciencesUniversity of AveiroAveiroPortugal