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I am talking to some students about how soil changes, and I've heard from soil samplers that the texture of the soil, i.e. whether it is sand, silt or clay, doesn't change in a human lifetime. It would be great to tell my students how long it does take, but I can't find this information anywhere. Is it something that isn't known? It must be a hard thing to determine?

The closest I've come to a statistic is that it takes thousands of years for soil to form, or that only a millimetre of soil forms each year, which is vaguer than I want to be.

Can soil chronosequences tell us the rate of weathering?

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  • $\begingroup$ this depends a lot on the local conditions, in particular clay tends to require the presence of liquid water. $\endgroup$ – John Jun 11 at 18:27
  • $\begingroup$ Silt changes into clay in the presence of Water. Sand Changes into silt because of erosion $\endgroup$ – MooseSmart Jun 13 at 17:11
  • $\begingroup$ Are you including changes due to wind or water erosion, or do you mean just degrading in place while growing plants? $\endgroup$ – Keith McClary Jun 17 at 3:37

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