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?

  • $\begingroup$ this depends a lot on the local conditions, in particular clay tends to require the presence of liquid water. $\endgroup$
    – John
    Jun 11 '21 at 18:27
  • $\begingroup$ Silt changes into clay in the presence of Water. Sand Changes into silt because of erosion $\endgroup$
    – MooseSmart
    Jun 13 '21 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? $\endgroup$ Jun 17 '21 at 3:37

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