Encyclopedia of Astrobiology

Living Edition
| Editors: Muriel Gargaud, William M. Irvine, Ricardo Amils, Henderson James Cleaves, Daniele Pinti, José Cernicharo Quintanilla, Michel Viso

Weathering Profile

  • Daniele L. Pinti
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-642-27833-4_1865-3


A weathering profile is a vertical assemblage of weathering zones (subsurface zones of alteration differing physically, chemically, or mineralogically from adjacent zones) from the surface soil to the unaltered bedrock. In the actual climate conditions of the Earth, the weathering profiles are best developed in the humid tropics, where depths of 30 up to 100 m are found. The nature of the weathering profile is a complex response to climatic and geologic controls and to long-term changes in surface environmental conditions. Astrobiologists study paleo-weathering profiles (or paleosols) because their mineralogical and geochemical characteristics can give constraints on the climatic, redox, and geological conditions of the surface of the early Earth.

See Also


Bioorganic Chemistry Geological Condition Geochemical Characteristic Complex Response Humid Tropic 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.GEOTOP Research Center for Geochemistry and GeodynamicsUniversité du Québec à MontréalMontréalCanada