Vol 5 Life in the Desert ... Introduction ... Weathered rocks
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Weathered rocks

Desert rocks sometimes crack due to extreme variation in daily temperatures – As they cool, rocks something split with a loud bang.
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Deserts are also well-known as areas in which strange rock formations can be seen. In deserts, rocks are weathered or worn away by wind, extreme temps, and rare but heavy rains. The strong winds pick up sand which then scours away at the rock, in a similar way to the sandblasting process used to clean dirt from old stone and brick buildings.

The desert landforms were originally formed when rocks thrust upward millions of years ago when the Earth was shaped. Over millions of years, rocks have gradually been weathered by heat, cold, wind, rain and chemical processes. In deserts, scarce rainfall means that few plants are present to protect the soil from erosion. When it does rain, torrents and floods are important in shaping the landscape: boulders and stones are carried down temporary rivers gouging out the bedrock. Wind-borne sand scours away at the rocks, sculpting strange-looking formations. Rocks crack due to extreme variation in daily temperatures – they may expand when heated, only to contract during cold nights. As they cool, rocks something split with a loud bang.