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Saprolite and Regolith both imply loose material, is one a subset of the other how can I differentiate them ?

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In short, saprolite does make up the regolith. Saprolite is a term for in place, weathered rock. Regolith encompasses all the heterogeneous components of loose material covering the solid rock of the earth or other planetary bodies.

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Saprolite include regolith plus humus ie soil particles in combination with dead plant and animal matter whereas regolith is just course material from weathered rock parent material.

Saprolite is common in humid climatic regions whilst regolith is common in arid ans semi arid climatic conditions.

Saprolite is polyminerallic and regolith is monominerallic.

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Residual soils or saprolite are soils that are derived in place from the weathering of the underlying bedrock.>

Characterization of Piedmont Residual Soil and Saprolite in Maryland by Missouri University of Science and Technology

The loose, fragmental material on the Moon’s surface is called regolith.

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  • $\begingroup$ Your answer implies regolith is restricted to the Moon. Regolith occurs on Earth, the Moon, Mars, some asteroids & other terrestrial planets. $\endgroup$ – Fred Jun 4 at 9:17

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