Soils of the Past

An introduction to paleopedology

  • Gregory J. Retallack

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages iii-xvii
  2. Soils and Paleosols

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 1-1
    2. Gregory J. Retallack
      Pages 3-8
    3. Gregory J. Retallack
      Pages 9-19
    4. Gregory J. Retallack
      Pages 20-54
    5. Gregory J. Retallack
      Pages 55-90
    6. Gregory J. Retallack
      Pages 91-113
    7. Gregory J. Retallack
      Pages 114-128
    8. Gregory J. Retallack
      Pages 129-145
  3. Factors in Soil Formation

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 147-147
    2. Gregory J. Retallack
      Pages 149-152
    3. Gregory J. Retallack
      Pages 153-175
    4. Gregory J. Retallack
      Pages 176-222
    5. Gregory J. Retallack
      Pages 223-239
    6. Gregory J. Retallack
      Pages 240-260
    7. Gregory J. Retallack
      Pages 261-288
  4. Fossil Record of Soils

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 289-289
    2. Gregory J. Retallack
      Pages 291-294
    3. Gregory J. Retallack
      Pages 295-325
    4. Gregory J. Retallack
      Pages 326-350

About this book

Introduction

Landscapes viewed from afar have a timeless quality that is soothing to the human spirit. Yet a tranquil wilderness scene is but a snapshot in the steady stream of surficial change. Wind, water and human activities reshape the landscape by means of gradual to catastrophic and usually irreversible events. Much of this change destroys past landscapes, but at some times and places, landscapes are buried in the rock record. This work is dedicated to the discovery of past landscapes and their life through the fossil record of soils. A long history of surficial changes extending back almost to the origin of our planet can be deciphered from the study of these buried soils, or paleosols. Some rudiments of this history, and our place in it, are outlined in a final section of this book. But first it is necessary to learn something of the language of soils, of what happens to them when buried in the rock record and which of the forces of nature can be confidently reconstructed from their remains. Much of this preliminary material is borrowed from soil science, but throughout emphasis is laid on features that provide most reliable evidence of landscapes during the distant geological past. This book has evolved primarily as a text for senior level university courses in paleopedology: the study of fossil soils.

Keywords

Pedogenesis Sediment science soil soil science

Authors and affiliations

  • Gregory J. Retallack
    • 1
  1. 1.University of OregonEugeneUSA

Bibliographic information

  • DOI https://doi.org/10.1007/978-94-011-7902-7
  • Copyright Information Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 1990
  • Publisher Name Springer, Dordrecht
  • eBook Packages Springer Book Archive
  • Print ISBN 978-0-04-445757-2
  • Online ISBN 978-94-011-7902-7
  • About this book