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Rubbing boulders, fossil mammal teeth, barrier islands, and a change in volcanic behavior
Date:7/24/2012

l environment. The chemical breakdown of minerals -- known as chemical weathering -- is one of the most important of these chemical reactions. Until now, little has been known about where chemical weathering takes place, with soils typically thought to define the most important interface across which rocks break down chemically and physically. The analysis presented here challenges this assumption, indicating that chemical weathering takes place across a distributed zone that is often at least partly hosted in soils, but may also include bedrock, for example along fractures at depth. As a result, even landscapes with minimal soil may generate significant weathering fluxes. Moreover, because the total flux of material associated with erosion is high in these settings, they may play disproportionately important roles in global geochemical cycles. The ultimate message is that just because landscapes don't have soils doesn't mean that they are not significant players in the global exchange between the solid rock that makes up the bulk of the Earth and the life-sustaining surface.


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Contact: Kea Giles
kgiles@geosociety.org
Geological Society of America
Source:Eurekalert

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