Regolith materials are normally considered by soil scientists to be the rocks and minerals underlying the solum. Pedologists have concentrated their soil genesis and classification studies on the soil profile and largely ignored the regolith. Other soil scientists have not studied the regolith because these materials are thought to have limited impacts on most soil properties and plant growth.
Recent concern about the transport of water and contaminants from the soil surface through the vadose zone to the aquifer have stimulated considerable interest in the properties of regolith material. Additional interest in regolith materials arises from the use of soil and associated materials for engineering purposes. Based on these needs for information, pedologists have initiated studies that deal with regolith materials in association with the solum.
Several divisions of SSSA and the Clay Minerals Society cosponsored a symposium entitled Whole Regolith Pedology at the 1992 annual meeting of the Tri-Societies. This publication resulting from the symposium presents the latest concepts and research findings cocerning the importance of regolith materials in pedology.
DARRELL W. NELSON
Soil Science Society of America
Traditionally, in pedology the focus has been on the soil survey and the information requirements of the soil survey. Soil genesis studies have often been used to develop predictive models to aid the soil survey effort, and to supply information for use in the development of management strategies for the mapped soils. In the alst decade site-specific engineering and environmental problems have necessitated a better understanding of earth surface materials at depths exceeding the traditional limits of soil survey investigations. Regolith materials at these depths are of great importance to water quality and other environmental issues. Many of the requirements for information at these sites have been regulatory driven.
The pedological community has recognized the need for more extensive information on regolith materials for years, especially in our liaisons with Quaternary geologists and engineers. Informal gatherings of groups, such as the Friends of the Pleistocene, have been successful at fostering dialogue between scientists and in focusing attention on specific problems. However, pedologists have been somewhat slow in providing leadership in the form of developing diagnostic concepts to meet the need for a better understanding of regolith materials.
The Whole-Regolith Pedology symposium was held at the 1992 meetings of the Soil Science Society of America. The symposium came about as a collaboration of Committee S880, Soil Geomorphology; Division S5, Soil Genesis, Morphology, and Classification; Division S9, Soil Mineralogy; and the Clay Minerals Society. The objective of the symposium was to foster communication of concepts in the characterization, delineation, and management of regolith materials. Invited and volunteered papers were presented from workers throughout the USA. The goal of this publication is to present this work as a foundation and a guide to future investigations into the nature of earth surface materials.
DAVID L. CREMEENS, Chair, GAI Consultants, Inc., Monroeville, Pennsylvania
RANDALL B. BROWN
University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida
J. HERBERT HUDDLESTON
Oregon State University, Corvallis, Oregon
James C. Baker, Associate Professor, Department of Crop and Soil Environmental Sciences, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg, VA 24061-0409
Julie Brigham-Grette, Associate Professor, Department of Geology and Geography, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA 01003-5820
R. B. Brown, Professor and Extension Specialist, Soil Science Department, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32611
S. W. Buol, William Neal Reynolds Professor of Soil Science, Department of SOil Science, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC 27695-7619
N. B. Comerford, Professor, Department of Soil and Water Science, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32611
D. L. Cremeens, Staff Soil Scientist, GAI Consultants, Inc., Monroeville, PA 15146
Robert G. Darmody, Associate Professor, Department of Agronomy, University of Illinois, Urbana, IL 61801
Leon R. Follmer, Paleopedologist, Illinois State Geological Survey, Champaign, IL 61820
R. C. Graham, Associate Professor of Soil Mineralogy, Department of Soil and Environmental Sciences, University of California, Riverside, CA 92521-0424
William R. Guertal, Hydrologist, Foothill Engineering, Inc., Mercury, NV 89023
J. H. Huddleston, Extension Soil Scientist, Department of Crop and Soil Science, Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR 97331
David L. Lindbo, Soil Scientist, USDA-ARS National Sedimentation Laboratory, Oxford, MS 38655
L. E. Moody, Graduate Research Assistant, Department of Soil and Environmental Sciences, University of California, Riverside, CA 92521
Mark H. Stolt, Senior Research Associate, Department of Crop and Soil Environmental Sciences, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg, VA 24061-0404
Earl L. Stone, Adjunct Professor, Department of Soil and Water Science, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32611
John P. Tandarich, Soil Scientist, Hey and Associates, Inc., Chicago, IL 60604
K. R. Tice, Staff Research Associate, Department of Soil and Environmental Sciences, University of California, Riverside, CA 92521
Peter L. M. Veneman, Professor, Department of Plant and Soil Sciences, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA 01003