By Annie and Megan

parting.jpgDuring parting, when the ground freezes, it cracks vertically. This crack is called a joint. Soon, water fills the cracks along with small debris. Later, the water freezes along with the debris making the crack bigger and deeper. Over time, the wedges get bigger, creating a network of wedges. If this continues, the rock will eventually split into many pieces. If this happens on the road, it can make potholes. In cold climates, it can happen quickly because the water can freeze overnight. Parting is also called freeze-thaw action, ice crystal growth, ice wedging, frost wedging, or frost action. It starts with fracturing or cracking, then parting causes breakage in the stone.


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