Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Climate Forcings in Ohio

One of the most factors that contributes to weathering of various geologic features is the overall climate of the area. Here in Ohio, we have large swings in temperature and precipitation, making our climate unique. The above graph (found on collected data from the past 40 years and shows the annual ebb and flow of temperature rising to the average high of 75 degrees Fahrenheit in the summer, then dropping to an average low of -5 degrees Fahrenheit in the winter. The types of precipitation varies with the time of year with rain and hail falling in the summer months and snow and sleet falling in the winter. Wind speed stays fairly constant throughout the entire year, providing a steady source of wind erosion.

If you are interested about the work that goes into collecting climate data, you can check out the following link about climatologists:

- Evan Amstutz

The geologic surface we see everyday is shaped and weathered largely in part by the type and the amount of precipitation we experience. Ohio experiences a wide range of how much annual average precipitation falls in any given region. The figure seen above (from shows this range and the average total precipitation for each region over a 40 year time period. Springfield is part of the central green band that averages 38-40 inches of total precipitation annually. There are definite wet and dry zones in Ohio, causing a potential difference in the amount of weathering caused by precipitation.

For an animated representation of what precipitation does to the rock surface, check out the link below:

- Andrew Fuss


  1. Are wind speeds really high enough to cause erosion?

  2. Wind erosion doesn't affect Ohio very much but it still affects millions of acres of land each year. Wind damage removes the most fertile soil from the ground. It could possibly affect plants depending on how much soil is moved. It also affects cars, machinery and hurts animal and human health.

  3. Andrew is right, of all the mechanical processes that effect the surface rock here in Ohio, wind has likely the least affect. An example of severe erosion could be found in the history books, specifically a time called the "Dirty Thirties." This time period was marked by over farming and severe drought, leaving the topsoil dried up and exposed to the elements. With severe winds, the topsoil blew for miles, causing one of the greatest farming hardships in history.

    For more information on this time period, check out the link below: