For the past 200 years, geological scientists have used the present as a key to unlocking the past. This volume continues the tradition by exploring the processes of weathering and soil formation as indicators of the present environment of the Earth's land surface. Examined are the various ways in which this information can be used to interpret past environments which have produced the soils now preserved as paleosols. Because the surface environment of the earth may now be undergoing rapid change (the greenhouse effect), the book is a timely one for those researchers looking for evidence of analogous changes in the Earth's past. The work is divided into three major sections. The first deals with fundamental considerations of weathering, clay mineralogy and diagenesis. The second deals with the formation of soils from various starting materials and in various surficial environments. And the final section is an interpretation of paleosols. This volume provides valuable reading material for graduate and senior-undergraduate courses.
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