Is there a way to know, how fast can water erode stone? I mean, if I just put a single stone and drip water on it 24/7, how soon will erosion become noticable?

I've seen a video about "15,25 and 50 years of erosion", but is there a way that the difference can be noticable in like a month or several months? Maybe there are stones which tend to be eroded faster than others?


1 Answer 1


In short, it depends on the type of stone, the energy of impact of the water and for how long water is applied with such an energy of impact.

A weak stone such as sandstone will erode more quickly than basalt or obsidian. The hardness of the stone and the strength of the bonds between minerals comprising the stone will contribute to the stone's wear and erosion resistance; particularly hardness. The more obdurate a mineral the greater its resistance to wear and erosion. This is seen in nature, where softer minerals are eroded preferentially before hard minerals, whether the erosion be by water or wind.

The average erosion rate for each type of stone needs to be determined from experimentation.

  • $\begingroup$ rock salt comes to mind for the fastest erosion. $\endgroup$
    – John
    Aug 29, 2023 at 11:46
  • $\begingroup$ Yeah, but were there like actual experiments and data about the erosion rates? Unfortunately have'nt found any, but maybe I looked in the wrong places $\endgroup$
    – Arthur
    Aug 29, 2023 at 12:16
  • $\begingroup$ @arthur The problem is with terminology, erosion is a composite of two things. you are talking about weathering rates the breakdown of rock, erosion also incudes the transport mostly measured as sediment load which is are measured in-situ. Here are some example studies. sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0012821X17300997 and water.usgs.gov/osw/techniques/Diplas_Kuhnle_others.pdf $\endgroup$
    – John
    Sep 4, 2023 at 13:25

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