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Soils of the Past: An Introduction to Paleopedology, 3rd Edition

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Soils of the Past: An Introduction to Paleopedology, 3rd Edition

Gregory J. Retallack

ISBN: 978-1-119-53040-4 August 2019 Wiley-Blackwell 488 Pages

Description

A student-friendly textbook that describes ancient soils, how they may be identified, and their use in paleoenvironmental reconstruction

Ancient soils contain vital mineralogical, geochemical, textural, and paleontological information about the continental environments in which they formed. Advances in isotope geochemistry and sequence-stratigraphic models allow evermore detailed reconstructions of environmental change from paleosols, and new insights into such diverse topics as atmospheric chemistry, global change, paleoecology, geobiology and mass extinction. This book educates readers about the field of paleopedology and how it remains a key area of investigation for geologists and environmental scientists seeking to learn about, and reconstruct, the condition and evolution of paleoenvironments. 

Presented in three sections—Soils and Palesols; Factors in Soil Formation; and Fossil Record of Soils—Soils of the Past: An Introduction to Paleopedology describes the main types of ancient soil, procedures for identifying and studying them, their classification and, most significantly, a wide array of examples of how paleosols have been used for paleoenvironmental reconstruction. The book is an excellent reflection of the current state of knowledge and can be widely adopted over many disciplines.

  • All chapters have been revised and updated to reflect advances in soil science in the last two decades
  • New tables display a wealth of new data added since the 2nd edition published in 2001
  • New figures have been added and line art has been redrawn to improve clarity and promote understanding
  • References have been updated throughout

Soils of the Past, 3rd Edition is written for advanced undergraduates studying paleopedology as part of a degree in geology, environmental science, or physical geography, and for interested professional earth scientists.

Part one: Soils and paleosols

Chapter 1 Paleopedology

Chapter 2 Soils on and under the landscape

Soils and paleosols on the landscape

Quaternary paleosols

Paleosols at major unconformities

Paleosols in sedimentary and volcanic sequences

Chapter 3 Features of fossil soils

Root traces

Kinds of roots

Patterns of root traces

Rhizoconcretions

Drab-haloed root traces

Soil horizons

Kinds of horizons

Describing soil horizons

Soil structure

Structural elements

Peds

Cutans

Glaebules

Crystals

Pedotubules

Microfabric

Chapter 4 Soil-forming processes

Indicators of physical weathering

Loosening

Fluid flow

Clay swelling

Fire heating

Freezing

Indicators of chemical weathering

Acidification

Oxidation

Hydration

Salinization

Indicators of biological weathering

Humification

Nutrient consumption

Bioturbation

Soil respiration

Common soil-forming processes

Gleization

Podzolization

Lessivage

Ferrallitization

Calcification

Salinization

Chapter 5 Soil classification

F.A.O. world map

U.S. taxonomy

Diagnostic horizons and properties

Entisol (incipient soil)

Inceptisol (young soil)

Andisol (volcanic ash soil)

Histosol (peaty soil)

Vertisol (swelling clay soil)

Mollisol (grassland soil)

Aridisol (desert soil)

Gelisol (permofrost soil)

Spodosol (sandy forest soil)

Alfisol (fertile forest soil)

Ultisol (infertile forest soil)

Oxisol (deeply weathered soil)

A word of caution

Chapter 6 Mapping and naming paleosols

Paleoenvironmental studies

Stratigraphic studies

Deeply weathered rocks

Chapter 7 Alteration of paleosols after burial

Burial decomposition of organic matter

Burial gleization of organic matter

Burial reddening of iron oxides and hydroxides

Cementation of primary porosity

Compaction by overburden

Illitization of smectite

Zeolitization and celadonitization of volcanic rocks

Coalification of peat

Kerogen maturation and cracking

Recrystallization of carbonate

Metamorphism

Common patterns of alteration

Part two: Factors in soil formation

Chapter 8 Models of soil formation

Chapter 9 Climate

Classification of climate

Indicators of precipitation

Depth to calcic horizon

Depth to gypsic horizon

Desert pavements

Pedocals and pedalfers

Hydrolytic chemical alteration

Clay minerals

Histosols, peats and coals

Karstification

Indicators of temperature

Permafrost structures

Oxygen isotope composition

Intensity of chemical alteration

Spherical micropeds and termite nests

Laterites and bauxites

Indicators of seasonality

Thickness of nodular carbonate

Variation in clumped isotopic paleotemperature

Carbon isotopic composition

Mukkara and gilgai

Concretions and argillans

Patterns of root traces

Charcoal

Indicators of atmospheric greenhouses

Chapter 10 Organisms

Traces of organisms

Microbes

Fungi

Lichens

Liverworts and mosses

Vascular plants

Nematodes

Molluscs

Annelids

Velvet worms

Water bears

Crustaceans

Millipedes and centipedes

Horseshoe crabs

Scorpions

Spiders

Mites

Springtails and wingless insects

Butterflies and moths

Lacewings

Caddis flies

Crickets

Bugs

Beetles

Termites

Ants

Wasps

Bees

Fish

Amphibians

Reptiles

Birds

Mammals

Traces of ecosystems

Early successional vegetation

Forest and woodland

Rain forest

Oligotrophic forest

Heath

Dry woodland

Wooded grassland

Wooded shrubland

Fire-prone shrubland

Open grassland

Shrubland

Brakeland

Polsterland

Desert scrub

Microbial earth

Microbial rockland

Taiga and krummholz

Tundra and alpine fellfield

Bog

Marsh

Fen

Salt Marsh

Swamp

Carr

Mangal

Fossil preservation in paleosols

Preservation as a function of soil chemistry

Preservation as a function of time

Completeness of the fossil record

Chapter 11 Topographic relief as a factor

Indicators of past geomorphic setting

Soil creep

Unconformities

Erosional planes

Gilgai microrelief

Salt crusts

Cumulic horizons

Indicators of past water table

Soil horizons

Root traces

Burrows

Soil structure

Soil nodules

Microfabric

Interpreting paleocatenae

Lateral variation of paleosols

Vertical variation of paleosols

Chapter 12 Parent material as a factor

General properties of parent materials

Uniformity

Induration

Grain size

Crystallinity

Mineral Composition

Chemical composition

Some common parent materials

Till

Loess

Alluvium

Marine sediment

Schist

Limestone

Granitic rocks

Basaltic rocks

Ultramafic rocks

Volcanic ash

A base line for soil formation

Assumption 1: parent material is fresh

Assumption 2: parent material is uniform

Assumption 3: one constituent is stable

Assumption 4: volume change is proportional to thickness and density

Quantifying soil and paleosol development

Chapter 13 Time as a factor

Indicators of paleosol development

Calcic (Bk) horizon development

Clayey subsurface (Bt) horizon development

Peat accumulation

Mineral weathering

Weathering rinds

Combinations of features

Accumulation of paleosol sequences

Hillslope development

Alluvial architecture

Completeness of the rock record

Sequence stratigraphy of paleosols

Part three: Fossil record of soils

Chapter 14 A long term natural experiment in pedogenesis

Chapter 15 Soils of other worlds

Soils of the Moon

Soil composition

Soil development

Soils of Venus

Soil composition

Soil development

Soils of Mars

Soil composition

Soil development

Meteorites

Carbonaceous chondrites

Mesosiderites and howardites

Relevance to early Earth

Chapter 16 Earth`s earliest landscapes

Oxygenation of the Earth`s atmosphere

Pre-Huronian (2450 Ma) paleosols of Ontario, Canada

Pre-Torridonian (810 Ma) paleosols of northwest Scotland

Acid sulfate alluvial paleosols

Calculating atmospheric oxidation from paleosols

Differentiation of continental crust

Bauxites

Laterites and Oxisols

Calcretes

Silcretes

Karst

Periglacial soils

Calibrating continental emergence from paleosols

Precambrian scenery

Chapter 17 Early life on land

Did life originate in soil?

Soup, spa or soil?

Role of clays

Role of iron minerals

Soil as a form of protolife

A scenario of selfish soil

Evidence for early life in paleosols

Microfossils

Megafossils

Trace fossils

Soil structure

Geochemical traces of life

Antiquity of life in soil

Mother Earth or Heart of Darkness?

Chapter 18 Large plants and animals on land

Evidence of multicellular organisms in paleosols

Liverwort-millipede polsterlands

Tracheophyte-trigonotarbid brakelands

Salt marsh and marsh

A timetable

How did multicellular soil organisms arise?

Origin of land plants

Origin of land animals

Ecology and environment of early Paleozoic life on land

Biological innovation or environmental regulation?

Blanketing bogs

Taming streams

Filtering air

Chapter 19 Afforestation of the land

Early forest soils

Alfisols

Ultisols

Spodosols

Origin of forest ecosystems

A diversifying landscape

Entisols

Gelisols

Inceptisols

Andisols

Histosols

Vertisols

Aridisols

Oxisols and duricrusts

A near modern world

A finer web of life on land

Soil invertebrates

Early land vertebrates

Dinosaurs

Angiosperms

Crisis and recovery

The shape of evolution

Chapter 20 Grasses in dry continental interiors

Early grassland soils

Dry Oligocene rangelands of South Dakota

Mid-Miocene short sod grasslands of Kenya

Late Miocene tall sod grasslands of Oregon

A timetable

Evolutionary processes

Speciation

Natural selection

Coevolution

How did grasslands arise?

Mountain uplift?

Ocean current isolation?

Grassland geoengineering?

Chapter 21 Human impact on landscapes

Human origins

Early Miocene forests of southwestern Kenya

Mid-Miocene grassland mosaic of southwestern Kenya

Late Miocene woodlands of northern Pakistan

Pliocene woodlands of Ethiopia

Initial steps to humanity

Early human ecology

Pliocene grassland mosaic of Kanapoi

Pliocene grassland mosaic of Hadar and Laetoli

Plio-Pleistocene grassland mosaic of Koobi Fora

Plio-Pleistocene grassland mosaic of Olduvai Gorge

Early human land use

A tamed landscape

Acidification of the British Lake District

Desertification of Greece

Soil worship

References

Glossary

Index