Exogenic Processes [Geography Notes For UPSC]

The processes that take place at or near the Earth’s surface are called Exogenic Processes. These processes are a part of denudation process which involves wearing away of Earth’s surface. The topic, ‘Exogenic Processes’ comes under GS-I Geography subject for IAS Exam.

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 Exogenic Processes

  • The exogenic processes obtain their energy from the gradients generated by tectonic factors, processes, their corresponding driving forces and atmosphere determined by the energy from the sun.
  • Precipitation and temperature are the two significant climatic components that regulate different processes.
  • Whole exogenic geomorphic processes are covered under a common term, denudation which means to uncover.
  • Weathering, transportation, and erosion are comprised of denudation.
  • Gravitational force acts upon every material on earth having a sloping surface and incline to create the movement of matter in downward slope direction.

 Exogenic Processes – Stress

  • Force applied per unit area is called stress.
  • Stress is created in a solid by pulling or pushing and this induces deformation.
  • Forces acting along the surfaces of earth materials are shear stresses and it breaks rocks and other earth materials.
  • The shear stresses result in slippage or angular displacement.
  • Besides gravitational stress, earth materials become exposed to molecular stresses that may be caused by several factors amongst which crystallisation, melting, and temperature variations are the most usual.
  • Chemical processes generally lead to loosening of bonds between grains, dissolving of soluble minerals or strengthening materials.
  • Therefore, the fundamental cause that leads to erosion, mass movements, and weathering is the development of stresses in the body of the earth materials.
  • The effects of most of the exogenic geomorphic processes are minor and slow.
  • It may be imperceptible in a short time span, but will in the long run influence the rocks harshly due to constant fatigue.

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