Methods for measuring rock surface weathering and erosion: A critical review

Cherith Moses, David Robinson, John Barlow

    Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

    134 Citations (Scopus)
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    Studies of rates, processes and modes of rock surface, and near-surface, deterioration, and also hardening, are central to rock weathering and building stone research, conservation and management. There is a need to measure and monitor weathering at the rock-atmosphere interface to facilitate understanding of climatic, environmental and lithological controls on the evolution and development of surface weathering features. This paper reviews long-established and recently developed field and laboratory methods used by geomorphologists to monitor and measure the impact of weathering and erosion on physical and mechanical properties of exposed rock surfaces and their immediate sub-surface. Key advances are highlighted, their application to multi-scalar understanding and modelling of rock surface weathering in different contexts is discussed and potential future advances to provide new insights into rock weathering, durability and materials conservation are identified. In highlighting key advantages and disadvantages of a wide range of methods to the broader earth science community, the paper aims to contribute to further innovative thinking across disciplines to develop new methods for measuring and monitoring rock weathering. © 2014 Elsevier B.V.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)141-161
    Number of pages21
    JournalEarth-Science Reviews
    Early online date30 Apr 2014
    Publication statusPublished - Aug 2014


    • Geochemical
    • Geotechnical
    • Laser scanning
    • Microscopy
    • Rock weathering
    • Tomography


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