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  INSOLATION WEATHERING Done by: Chow Hui Xuan, Caitlan Miew, Koh Ling Ying  Definition  Type of physical/mechanical weathering   Also known as: - Solar/Thermal Expansion and Contraction, weathering through Heating and Cooling, Exfoliation weathering  Refers to the disintegration of rocks caused by expansion and contraction through solar/thermal heating and cooling  Occurs during the daily cycle of heating (in the day) and cooling (at night)  Processes involved   As rock is a poor conductor of heat, the effects of diurnal heating are confined to the surface layers and not transmitted freely through the rock  With the concentration of heat in the upper layers, a sharp thermal gradient soon develops and the surface of the rock tends to expand more than the rock at depth  This should lead to the formation of stresses within the rock and if such stresses exceed a certain critical amount, sheet  joints parallel to the surface will develop leading subsequently to exfoliation  The process of exfoliation is somewhat similar to peeling layers from an onion  –  it involves the detachment of rocks in concentric slabs from the underlying rock mass, leaving behind successively smaller spheroidal bodies.  The layers thus developed tends to be thin since expansion and contraction are limited to the surface of the rock  Pictures/Diagrams
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