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Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences The Open University

Summary: Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences
The Open University
Milton Keynes MK7 6AA
Tel 01908 652889 Fax 01908 655151
Email Earth-Sciences-PhD-Enquiries@open.ac.uk
Web page http://www.open.ac.uk/science/earthsciences/home.php?
Extreme tropical weathering profiles as monitors for palaeoenvironmental change
Dr Mike Widdowson, Dr Mahesh Anand, Dr Manuela A. Fehr
Field work in Antrim, Northern Ireland
Training and application of state-of-the-art Fe-isotope analysis and ICP-MS geochemical
Provide a better understanding of the processes and causes of extreme weathering events
Rock weathering is a key influence on the composition and evolution of Earth's atmosphere [1], and
massively Fe-enriched laterites represent the most extreme form of weathering found anywhere at the
Earth's surface [2]. These tropical/sub tropical weathering profiles are commonly 20100 m thick, show a
progression from unaltered bedrock through to an iron-rich duricrust (hardened top soil), and their element
enrichments and depletions reflect within-profile variations in redox conditions. Laterites are currently
estimated to cover 30% of the exposed continental areas, and 50% of the world's fluvial systems drain
through lateritic terrains. Accordingly, understanding the mineral breakdown and element redistribution
processes that control their development is fundamental to understanding those weathering processes that,


Source: Anand, Mahesh - Centre for Earth, Planetary, Space and Astronomical Research, Department of Earth Sciences, Open University


Collections: Geosciences