Name:_________________________________        Per#________        Date:________________


Weathering Lab

Which of these layers do you think is the most weathered and why?

1. Weathering is the breakdown of rocks by exposing them to, well, the weather. What are some different types of weather that you think breaks down rocks? (name at least 3)




2. In this lab we will break down rocks (sugar cubes) in two ways, first physically, then chemically. Name three examples of each:

Physical Weathering

Chemical  Weathering

Procedure A: Physical Weathering

1. Mass 5 sugar cubes prior to shaking and record in the data table.

2. Make a drawing of what the average sugar cube looks like prior to shaking and draw this in your data table.

2. Place the sugar cubes in the jar.

4. Now shake your sugar cubes 20 times.

5. Pour the contents of the jar onto a piece of paper separating the sugar cubes and the crumbs. (Don’t eat any of it!!!)

6. Mass your sugar cubes and sketch the general appearance of one of the sugar cubes.

Shaking Trial

Drawing of Sugar Cube

Mass of Sugar Cube (g)

0 Shakes

After 20 Shakes

After 40 Shakes

After 60 Shakes

1. What change did you notice in the sugar cubes as you shook it more and more?

Procedure B: The effect of surface area on weathering

Procedure B-1


1.  Place two sugar cubes on a paper towel.

2.  Carefully crush one, try not to lose any of the mass.

3.  Place one sugar cube in one beaker of water and the crushed sugar cube in the second beaker of water. For this part, you will only be using warm water.

4.  Record the amount of time it takes for each mass of sugar to dissolve and record.


Time to Dissolve (s)

Full Sugar Cube

Crushed Cube

1.  Which mass of sugar dissolved more quickly? Why do you think this is?

Assume the same amount of material makes up 1,2, and 3. Which one of these will dissolve the quickest, 1, 2, or 3? Explain your answer using surface area in your answer:

Procedure C - Affect on temperature on weathering

  1. Fill one beaker up with room temperature water and one with hot water.
  2. Place a sugar cube in each of the beakers
  3. Record the amount of time it takes for each to dissolve.


Time to Dissolve (s)

Cube in Cold Water

Cube in Warm water

Which sugar cube dissolved more quickly, the one in the cold water or the one in the hot water?  Why do you think this is?

These questions have to do with the diagram

In the real world: Go outside or look through the windows and find four examples of Physical or Chemical weathering.

What was weathered? Where was it?


Physical or Chemical? (or both?)

Conclusion: Frost Weathering is one way rocks break apart in NY. Water fills in the cracks (or pores) in a rock, gets cold and turns to ice, then freezes and expands. This increases the size of the crack, which can eventually break it apart. Explain how you think this can affect people in NYC.





Where else do you think this (frost weathering) happens?