Baffin Island Waterfall
A waterfall fed by glacial runoff tumbles over sheer cliffs and into the turquoise water of Admiralty Inlet on Baffin Island, Nunavut, Canada. Such moving water is among the most powerful of nature's landscape-altering tools.
Erosion and Weathering
These natural forces are responsible for the shape of our environment.
Weathering and erosion slowly chisel, polish, and buff Earth's rock into ever evolving works of art—and then wash the remains into the sea.
The processes are definitively independent, but not exclusive. Weathering is the mechanical and chemical hammer that breaks down and sculpts the rocks. Erosion transports the fragments away.
Working together they create and reveal marvels of nature from tumbling boulders high in the mountains to sandstone arches in the parched desert to polished cliffs braced against violent seas.
Water is nature's most versatile tool. For example, take rain on a frigid day. The water pools in cracks and crevices. Then, at night, the temperature drops and the water expands as it turns to ice, splitting the rock like a