Micro-environmental conditions and rock weathering in hot, arid regions

Patricia A. Warke*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)


Exploitative rock weathering processes operate at the micro-scale where micro-environmental conditions at the rock/air interface control their nature and rate. In hot, desert regions, micro-environmental conditions may differ significantly from macro-environmental regimes because of the complex interactions between components of the atmospheric boundary layer and extrinsic and intrinsic rock properties. Consequently, macro-environmental indicators should not be used to infer micro-scale weathering processes or to determine temperature and humidity parameters in laboratory simulation studies. Factors influencing conditions at the rock/air interface are examined with consideration of; methods of micro-environmental data collection, discussion of some of the problems associated with assessment of micro-environmental data and finally, the importance of strengthening links between field and laboratory studies. It is concluded that only through examination of all the variables influencing weathering activity, especially micro-environmental parameters, can we hope to better understand feedback mechanisms, spatial and temporal weathering dynamics and the links between micro-scale processes and initiation and development of meso-scale weathering forms.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)83-95
Number of pages13
JournalZeitschrift fur Geomorphologie, Supplementband
Publication statusPublished - 23 May 2000

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geology


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