Mammoth Memory

Freeze-Thaw Weathering – Water in rock cracks expands as it freezes, shattering the rock

To remember the meaning of the term Freeze-Thaw Weathering, use the following mnemonic:

Freezing Thor (freeze-thaw) caused him to shatter.

Freezing Thor (freeze-thaw) caused him to shatter.

freez-thaw weathering step by step

freeze-thaw weathering process


Freeze-thaw weathering (also called frost-shattering) occurs in cold climates when temperatures are often below freezing point and where exposed rocks contain many cracks.

Water enters the cracks during the warmer daylight hours and freezes during the cooler night. As the water freezes it expands, exerting pressure on the surrounding rock, causing pieces to break off.

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