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The Cycle of Weathering

Nature volume 143, page 704 (29 April 1939) | Download Citation



THE science of weathering is fundamental in any study concerned with such a question as why the mineralogical composition of the surface material of the earth is as it is. It is therefore a fundamental science in the study of how geological deposits and soils came to have their present composition. Although this science is so fundamental, it possesses very few established facts. In Nature, weathering is exceedingly slow and very complex, with the consequence that until recently very few methods have been available for examining exactly what chemical processes are taking place. The science of weathering has thus been built up rather more on plausible guess-work than on established fact.

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