Richter, 2019

Talk/Poster

Soil Production and the Soil Geomorphology Legacy of G.K. Gilbert

Richter, Daniel (2019)
Soil Science Society of America International Soils Meeting, San Diego, CA, 6-9 January 2019  

Abstract

In the last several decades, geomorphologists have begun to quantify rates of soil production, in highly significantwork that needs wider discussion in pedology. To date, soil production refers to the rates of a component of bedrock weathering, i.e., the physical addition of bedrock from below to the slowly moving mobile regolith on divergent hillslopes that aretaken to be in steady state. This paper asserts the importance of the integration of pedological and geomorphological perspectivesof soil production. To this end, we provide a table of commonly used terms to facilitate communication. The collaboration can enrich the history of our sciences as well. Remarkably, nearly all soil production researchers and geomorphologists acknowledge the intellectual legacy of the 19th c. geologist Grove Karl Gilbert, but his work is all but uncited by soil scientists. Here, in the context of Gilbert’s ideas of weathering and transportation, we describe and interpret three contrasting soil profiles, and propose aGilbert-inspired conceptual model of regolith production that depicts the polygenetic, non-steady state system that liberatessolid particles and solutes from bedrock and transports them across the landscape. Because both pedologists and geomorphologists read soil and weathering profiles and landforms to reconstruct environmental histories of landscapes, more intimate interactions of pedology and geomorphology in a soil geomorphology will certainly benefit our understanding ofsoil and landscape evolution, most important in the Anthropocene.

Citation

Richter, Daniel (2019): Soil Production and the Soil Geomorphology Legacy of GK Gilbert. Soil Science Society of America International Soils Meeting, San Diego, CA, 6-9 January 2019.

This Paper/Book acknowledges NSF CZO grant support.