Encyclopedia of Astrobiology

2015 Edition
| Editors: Muriel Gargaud, William M. Irvine, Ricardo Amils, Henderson James (Jim) CleavesII, Daniele L. Pinti, José Cernicharo Quintanilla, Daniel Rouan, Tilman Spohn, Stéphane Tirard, Michel Viso

Regolith, Terrestrial

  • Nicholas Arndt
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-662-44185-5_1365



The terrestrial regolith is a layer of unconsolidated material overlying solid rock. It forms as a result of mechanical and chemical  weathering, biological processes, deposition of loose material, or brecciation of rock and may consist of soil, alluvium, and other sedimentary deposits, fractured and oxidized rock, and volcanic ash or scoria. Its thickness varies from negligible to several hundred meters. Regolith has been observed on Earth, Moon, some asteroids, and other planets.

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© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.ISTerre, Université Grenoble AlpesGrenobleFrance