Retallack, Gregory J. Department of Geological Sciences, College of Arts and Sciences, University of Oregon, Corvallis, Oregon.
- Links to Primary Literature
- Additional Readings
A soil of the past, that is, a fossil soil. Paleosols are most easily recognized when they are buried by sediments. They also include surface profiles that are thought to have formed under very different conditions from those now prevailing, such as the deeply weathered tropical soils of Tertiary geological age that are widely exposed in desert regions of Africa and Australia. Such profiles are generally known as relict paleosols. Those that can be shown to have been buried and then uncovered by erosion are known as exhumed paleosols. The main problem in defining the term paleosol comes not so much from complications such as these arising from its fossil nature, but from defining what is meant by soil, a term that has very different meanings for agronomists, engineers, geologists, and soil scientists. Considering research on soils of Antarctica and Mars and on paleosols in a variety of rocks ranging back to 3.5 × 109 years old, soil can be considered distinct from sediment in that it forms in place, but soil need not necessarily include traces of life. At its most general level, soil is material forming the surface of a planet or similar body and altered in place from its parent material by physical, chemical, or biological processes.
The content above is only an excerpt.
for your institution. Subscribe
To learn more about subscribing to AccessScience, or to request a no-risk trial of this award-winning scientific reference for your institution, fill in your information and a member of our Sales Team will contact you as soon as possible.
to your librarian. Recommend
Let your librarian know about the award-winning gateway to the most trustworthy and accurate scientific information.
AccessScience provides the most accurate and trustworthy scientific information available.
Recognized as an award-winning gateway to scientific knowledge, AccessScience is an amazing online resource that contains high-quality reference material written specifically for students. Contributors include more than 9000 highly qualified scientists and 43 Nobel Prize winners.
MORE THAN 8700 articles covering all major scientific disciplines and encompassing the McGraw-Hill Encyclopedia of Science & Technology and McGraw-Hill Yearbook of Science & Technology
115,000-PLUS definitions from the McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific and Technical Terms
3000 biographies of notable scientific figures
MORE THAN 19,000 downloadable images and animations illustrating key topics
ENGAGING VIDEOS highlighting the life and work of award-winning scientists
SUGGESTIONS FOR FURTHER STUDY and additional readings to guide students to deeper understanding and research
LINKS TO CITABLE LITERATURE help students expand their knowledge using primary sources of information