Dictionary of Geotourism

2020 Edition
| Editors: Anze Chen, Young Ng, Erkuang Zhang, Mingzhong Tian

Biological Weathering in Landscape Formation

Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-981-13-2538-0_168

Biological weathering refers to the disintegration of rocks caused by various activities of living organisms, including reproduction, multiplication, growth, death and decomposition. Biological weathering can be induced by mechanical means, for instance, when the roots of growing plants exert pressure on fractures in rocks, they would widen and deepen the cracks, and eventually disintegrate the rocks. Biological weathering can also be chemical, for instance, metabolic secretions and organic acids, hydrogen, ammonia, and nitrogen produced by the decomposition of living organisms would degrade and break down the rock. Human activities such as construction projects also contribute to biological weathering. Many exotic landforms in nature are closely related to the activities of living organisms and biological weathering.

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2020