I know that the moon has lunar regolith and earth has earth soil, but what is the difference between them?

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    Soil is a poor description of what is on the surface of the moon. Regolith is a better term. Terran soil is fundamentally organic, whereas there is obviously no organic component to lunar regolith. – bon Jan 25 '17 at 19:12
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    Lunar soil is mostly dead. I'm not sure, but it's possible that it has very small amounts of organic material (possibly delivered by cometary processes). In contrast, Earth's soil is teeming with life, and the products of the decay of this life when it decays. – Gimelist Jan 26 '17 at 1:55
  • It might be better to ask about the differences between lunar regolith and Earthly volcanic ash, as that would exclude the biological components. – jamesqf Dec 6 at 18:10
up vote 5 down vote accepted

The single biggest difference is the lack of chemical weathering in lunar soils which are subject to physical weathering almost exclusively. If you exclude biological processes, terrestrial rocks undergo significant weathering from water and atmosphere, which the moon lacks.

For example, both earth and moon contain feldspar-rich rocks, however, clays, the result of chemically altered feldspars, are not found on the moon. Neither are oxidized minerals, as the moon has no oxygen-rich atmosphere to speak of.

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    You can't exclude biological processes when talking about soils. Organic matter is a fundamental component of what makes a soil. Mars has weathered rocks but doesn't have soils in the same way as Earth because it has no life. – bon Jan 26 '17 at 11:22
  • "You can't exclude biological processes when talking about soils." Yes you can. Please consider that in 4.6 billion years, the earth has had lifeless soils for about 4.1 billion of them. – Knob Scratcher Jan 26 '17 at 15:02
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    And there is the crux, there is a solid divide among scientists about the definition of soil. Many content the presence of biotics is required others do not. Until a universal definition of soil is agreed upon it is just arguing in circles. – John Jan 26 '17 at 15:26

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