The erosion or disintegration of rocks, building materials, etc., caused by chemical reactions (chiefly with water and substances dissolved in it) rather than by mechanical processes.
- Great physical relief results in intense physical erosion and rapid exposure of fresh reactive rock for chemical weathering, but it provides less contact time between water and rocks.
- Over thousands to millions of years, the physical breakdown and chemical weathering of volcanic rocks have formed some of the most fertile soils on Earth.
- The problem is most acute in tropical, equatorial and desert regions where the surface environment is particularly fragile because of its long history of intense chemical weathering over geological timescales.
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