Localized Weathering: Implications for Theoretical and Applied Studies
In situ quantification of localized weathering processes on basalt flows in New Mexico and Hawaii demonstrates that small-area factors can be more important than other more readily observable factors. Further, it demonstrates that the factorial concept of the Pope Boundary-Layer weathering model is partially solvable, that organic weathering can accentuate glass weathering (with implications for climate models and storage of nuclear waste), and that silica coatings are not a simple solution for the preservation of stone monuments. Enhancement of glass weathering by lichens on the McCartys flow, El Malpais National Monument, New Mexico, remains restricted to a half-millimeter directly underneath the lichen-covered surface. In contrast, although the inorganic rock coating of silica glaze reduces weathering directly underneath the coating by up to nine times rates found in uncoated locales, silica glaze can almost double variability in weathering along its margins.