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My text books says that the residual soil shows a similarity in its chemical composition to the original rock beneath it, and that the degree of similarity differs by differing the influence type of atmosphere

I don't get the part of "differing the influence type of atmosphere." Do you have any ideas?

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    $\begingroup$ Sounds like it is referring to dust. Depending on where the dust comes from, it can contribute materials to the soil that differ from that borne from the local parent material etc. $\endgroup$ – reevesii Jun 18 '17 at 19:26
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The influence type of atmosphere could refer to a variety of things that affect soil properties such as:

  • rainfall
  • wind
  • deposition of chemical species (e.g. nitrates, sulfates, carbon species, etc.)
  • heating/cooling
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  • $\begingroup$ you didn't list oxidation of the soil. Add that & I'll upvote $\endgroup$ – Fred Jun 19 '17 at 3:29
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If you are including the early history of the earth, study of regolith from the Archean period has been used to indicate the oxidation state of the atmosphere. Different weathering products form, depending on the amount of oxygen in the air and dissolved in infiltrating rainwater. So the residual soil chemical and isotopic composition changed when the atmosphere became oxic. There are a few locations in South Africa, Canada, and probably other places where these soils were buried and preserved, (e.g. by lava flows near Flin Flon Manitoba Canada).

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All soil starts off as rock. Temperature, precipitation and wind affect it's rate of breakddown. And biological activity is what contributes to major soil building. Plants that thrive without soil (epiphytes, lithophytes) are often the first generation of plants. As they die, new ones take their place and the first layer of accumulated biomass builds to accommodate more sophisticated plants grow in this medium. Nitrogen fixing plants take advantage of atmospheric nitrogen; thus never deprived of an available source. Atmosphere contributes WIND which can cause soil erosion if little plants exist to secure it.

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