Definitions of weathering are examined and a definition of weathering for geotechnical purposes is proposed. Weathering is achieved by weathering processes, which depend upon the nature of the new environment to which the geological materials are introduced. Weathering processes are reviewed with particular reference to examples from engineering practice. The weathering product, the modified geological material and mass, is a consequence of the interaction of the weathering processes and the geological materials and mass on which the weathering processes act. Modes of weathering of particular rock types are reviewed. The paper concludes with a discussion of classification policy, recommending simplification.

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