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Antelope Canyon, a slot canyon in norther Arizona. A small tounbleweed in forground.
Bob Pool/Photographer's Choice RF/Getty Images

Definition: Erosion is the general name for the processes that break down rocks (weathering) and the processes that carry away the breakdown products (transportation).

The physical processes of erosion are called corrasion or mechanical erosion; the chemical processes are called corrosion or chemical erosion. But most examples of erosion include some of both corrasion and corrosion.

The agents of erosion are gravity, ice, water (eluvian erosion) and wind (eolian erosion). Erosion is sometimes restricted to transportation, excluding weathering. Erosion does not include mass wasting, unless erosion is being discussed in a tectonic context, in which case exhumation may be the better term.


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