Video: Weathering and Erosion Definitions Rock Cycle: The complex set of natural processes that result in the formation of igneous, sedimentary, and metamorphic results. Weathering: The natural breakdown of solid rock into smaller fragments through chemical, physical, and biological processes. Physical Weathering: A form of weathering characterized by the mechanical disintegration of rock into smaller fragments but not involving chemical change. Frost Wedging: A form of physical weathering caused by cycles of freezing and thawing of water in pores or cracks of rocks. Chemical Weathering: A from of weathering involving chemical changes that decompose rocks and produce new substances. Soil: Earth materials made from weathered rock and biologic matter in which land plants can grow. Erosion: The loosening, wearing away, and transport of soil and rock fragments by gravity, running water, ice, or wind.