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Importance of porosity and transfer of matter in the rock weathering processes: two examples in Central Spain.

AuthorsMolina Ballesteros, Eloy CSIC; García Talegón, Jacinta; Iñigo, Adolfo C. CSIC ORCID ; Sánchez, M. G.; Herrero Fernández, Hernando
Mass balance
Piedmont surfaces
Issue Date2011
CitationEnvironmental Earth Science. (2011) Online First™
AbstractSome physical properties (bulk and free porosity, pore size distribution), and the chemical composition and mass balance of two deeply weathered profiles one developed on Hercynian granodiorite and the other on pre-Cambrian slates were studied. Hydric and mercury porosimetry, nitrogen adsorption techniques, chemical analyses and XRD techniques were used. On granodiorite, weathering has created increased porosity with a pore diameter \5 lm, whereas on slates the weathering has produced of ca. 1 lm in diameter. These pore sizes have played an important role in the weathering processes. Assuming that weathering preserves volumes, except in the uppermost part of the profiles, it brought about a loss of matter of more than 12% (*300 kg/m3) on granodiorite and ca. 30% (*800 kg/m3) on slates. These changes are related to shifts in the mineralogical evolution, with the appearance of new 2:1 and 1:1 phyllosilicates and Fe oxyhydroxides as the main authigenic minerals. The release of matter, at least since the upper Neogene until the present, has led to the lowering of relief in a more or less homogeneous way, giving rise to gentle hillsides and flat surfaces below which the current river networks are incised. Porosity studies have the potential to explain several specific landforms as well as affecting landscape development in general.
Description14 p.
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