Geologic time is shorthand for slow-paced. But new measurements from steep mountaintops in New Zealand shows that rock can transform into soil more than twice as fast as previously believed possible.
The findings were published Jan. 16 in the early online edition of Science.
“Some previous work had argued that there were limits to soil production,” said first author Isaac Larsen, who did the work as part of his doctoral research in Earth sciences at the University of Washington. “But no one had made the measurements.”