Soils of the Past: An Introduction to Paleopedology, Second Edition

Soils of the Past: An Introduction to Paleopedology, Second Edition

Author(s): Gregory J. Retallack

Published Online: 16 APR 2008

Print ISBN: 9780632053766

Online ISBN: 9780470698716

DOI: 10.1002/9780470698716

About this Book

It has been 10 years since publication of the first edition of Soils of the Past. In that time the subject of paleopedology has grown rapidly, and established itself within the mainstream of geological research.

Ancient soils contain vital mineralogical, geochemical, textural, and paleontological information about the continental environments in which they formed. Advances in isotope geochemistry and sequence-stratigraphic models allow more detailed reconstructions of environmental change from paleosols and new insights into diverse topics like atmospheric chemistry, global change, palaeoecology, geobiology and mass extinction.

This fully updated second edition of soils of the past gives describes the main types of ancient soil, procedures for their recognition and study, their classification and, most significantly, a wide array of examples of how paleosols have been used for paleoenvironmental reconstruction.

Soils of the Past is written for advanced undergraduates studying paleopedology as part of a degree in geology, environmental science, or physical geography, and for interested professional earth scientists.

In the last few years however palaeopedology has become an established discipline in its own right, so the time is ripe for a new edition. This new book will be a good reflection of the current state of knowledge and be widely adopted.


  • First edition was very well received and sold over 1500 copies when the subject was relatively new. The field has now grown enormously and the second edition should do considerably better.
  • The new edition covers new developments in the field such as: Soils and Climate, stable isotope analysis of soils, soils and sequence stratigraphy.
  • This edition represents the only available overview of the subject at this level.

Table of contents

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  1. Part 1: Soils and Paleosols

  2. Part 2: Factors in Soil Formation

  3. Part 3: Fossil Record of Soils

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    1. You have free access to this content

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