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Transactions of the Symposium on Photo Interpretation

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-л«ж.-,.-лi , i*,-''-'. •-
It is perhaps less evident that chemical weathering should be important but
in fact determination of the net weathering response of various rock types
depends upon assessment of the balance existing between chemical and ther
mal effects.
To comprehend the effect of thermal disintegration on rocks of differing
composition consideration must be given to the process in general. The ther
mal disruption of rocks is generally attributed to differential volume change of
outer layers relative to a more stable inner layer. To this process the separation
of sheets or layers many feet thick has been ascribed. This requires the devel
opment of steep temperature gradients at comparable depths within the rock.
In recent work in the Aden Protectorate a Remote Reading Differential
Thermometer was used to measure simultaneously rock surface and interior
temperatures, by means of pencil-thin thermistor probes. Experiments showed
that at 3 1 /2 inches depth within the rock the maximum diurnal temperature
was reached two hours after the rock surface attained its maximum tempera
ture. Measurements on a number of rocks indicate a similar time lag, in the
order of 4 hours at 6 inches penetration, and of about 10 hours at 18 inches
penetration. Heat flow is influenced by several factors such as lithological
characteristics and local climate conditions, but these figures illustrate the
general rate of heat transference.
Experiments made also show that the magnitude of diurnal temperature
variation decreases sharply with increasing depth of penetration. Thus, at 3 1 ¡2
inches penetration, temperature variation approximated to within 2-3 °C of
surface changes; where surface variations ranged between 20 to 30 °G, tem
perature variation at 6 inches penetration averaged about 5 °C; at 18 inches
Fig. 1. Diurnal temperature variation in grey bedded limestone
Wadi Hajar, Aden Protectorate. January
Temperature of rock surface
Temperature at 13 inches penetration