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A natural degradation process. Erosion is a general term that covers the loss or breaking down of a substance due to Wind, Rain, Ice, waves, chemical reactions or human use. Chemical erosion may occur when a material is altered by dissolution, hydration, oxidation (corrosion) or carbonization. Mechanical erosion occurs when portions of a material are physically separated and transported to a new location.

Synonyms and Related Terms

weathering; Erosion (Deut.); érosion (Fr.); erosão (Port.)

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Resources and Citations

  • Van Nostrand's Scientific Encyclopedia, Douglas M. Considine (ed.), Van Nostrand Reinhold, New York, 1976
  • Random House, Webster's Encyclopedic Unabridged Dictionary of the English Language, Grammercy Book, New York, 1997
  • The American Heritage Dictionary or Encarta, via Microsoft Bookshelf 98, Microsoft Corp., 1998
  • ASTM, "Standard Terminology Relating to Paint, Varnish, Lacquer and Related Products", Annual Book of ASTM Standards, Section 6, Paints, Related Coatings and Aromatics, ASTM, D16, 7-Jan, Jul-96