What Is Salt Weathering?

Weathering refers to the process by which rock is broken down over time. It is called "salt weathering" when salt is involved in the process.


There are three distinct types of weathering: chemical weathering, physical weathering, and biological weathering. Salt weathering falls under the category of physical weathering.

Crystallization Weathering

Salt weathering is further categorized as a type of crystallization weathering, much like ice crystallization. Often, salt crystallization and ice crystallization occur simultaneously.

How Salt Weathering Happens

Salt weathering occurs when a saline solution gets into cracks or pores in rock. If the temperature changes enough for the ice to crystallize, it will expand in the crack, and may fracture the rock.

Where Salt Weathering Occurs

Salt weathering is primarily a concern in marine areas where the presence of the ocean ensures a high level of salt in water vapor. Salt weathering also tends to happen in climates that are hot and dry.

Porous Materials

The more porous a material is, the more susceptible it will be to the effects of salt weathering.

Forest Time

Forest Time has been writing for over a decade. During this time, he founded and edited a short-lived literary magazine, received several prizes for his poetry and published a master's thesis on Cambodian history. He received his Master of Arts in Asian history from the University of Maine at Orono in 2007.