Soal Latihan dan Jawaban Reading Comprehension 05

Tuesday, February 28th, 2012 - reading comprehension

In Death Valley, California, one of the hottest, most arid places in North America, there is

much salt, and salt can damage rocks impressively. Inhabitants of areas elsewhere, where

streets and highways are salted to control ice, are familiar with the resulting rust and

deterioration on cars. That attests to the chemically corrosive nature of salt, but it is not

(5)  the way salt destroys rocks. Salt breaks rocks apart principally by a process called crystal

prying and wedging. This happens not by soaking the rocks in salt water, but by moistening

their bottoms with salt water. Such conditions exist in many areas along the eastern edge

of central Death Valley. There, salty water rises from the groundwater table by capillary

action through tiny spaces in sediment until it reaches the surface.

 

(10)  Most stones have capillary passages that suck salt water from the wet ground. Death

Valley provides an ultra-dry atmosphere and high daily temperatures, which promote

evaporation and the formation of salt crystals along the cracks or other openings within

stones. These crystals grow as long as salt water is available. Like tree roots breaking up a

sidewalk, the growing crystals exert pressure on the rock and eventually pry the rock apart

(15)  along planes of weakness, such as banding in metamorphic rocks, bedding in sedimentary

rocks, or preexisting or incipient fractions, and along boundaries between individual

mineral crystals or grains. Besides crystal growth, the expansion of halite crystals (the same

as everyday table salt) by heating and of sulfates and similar salts by hydration can

contribute additional stresses. A rock durable enough to have withstood natural conditions

(20)  for a very long time in other areas could probably be shattered into small pieces by salt

weathering within a few generations.

 

The dominant salt in Death Valley is halite, or sodium chloride, but other salts, mostly

carbonates and sulfates, also cause prying and wedging, as does ordinary ice. Weathering

by a variety of salts, though often subtle, is a worldwide phenomenon. Not restricted to

(25)  arid regions, intense salt weathering occurs mostly in salt-rich places like the seashore,

near the large saline lakes in the Dry Valleys of Antarctica, and in desert sections of

Australia, New Zealand, and central Asia.

 

Reading Comprehension 05

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Question 1
What is the passage mainly about?
A
The impressive salt rocks in Death Valley.
B
The destructive effects of salt on rocks.
C
The damaging effects of salt on roads and highways.
D
The amount of salt produced in Death Valley.
Question 2
The word "it" in line 9 refers to
A
capillary action
B
groundwater table
C
sediment
D
salty water
Question 3
The word "exert" in line 14 is closest in meaning to
A
replace
B
reduce
C
control
D
put
Question 4
In lines 13-17, why does the author compare tree roots with growing salt crystals?
A
They both react quickly to a rise in temperature.
B
They both grow as long as water is available.
C
They both force hard surfaces to crack.
D
They both cause salty water to rise from the groundwater table.
Question 5
In lines 17-18, the author mentions the "expansion of halite crystals...by heating and of sulfates and similar salts by hydration" in order to
A
simplify the explanation of crystal prying and wedging
B
explain how some rocks are not affected by salt
C
present an alternative theory about crystal growth
D
introduce additional means by which crystals destroy rocks
Question 6
The word "durable" in line 19 is closest in meaning to
A
large
B
pressured
C
strong
D
flexible
Question 7
The word "shattered" in line 20 is closest in meaning to
A
dissolved
B
gathered together
C
broken apart
D
arranged
Question 8
The word "dominant" in line 22 is closest in meaning to
A
most common
B
least damaging
C
most recent
D
least available
Question 9
According to the passage, which of the following is true about the effects of salts on rocks?
A
Salts usually cause damage only in combination with ice.
B
Only two types of salts cause prying and wedging.
C
A variety of salts in all kinds of environments can cause weathering.
D
Salt damage at the seashore is more severe than salt damage in Death Valley.
Question 10
Which of the following can be inferred from the passage about rocks that are found in areas where ice is common?
A
They show similar kinds of damage as rocks in Death Valley.
B
They do not allow capillary action of water.
C
They contain more carbonates than sulfates.
D
They are protected from weathering.
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