Regolith research in Australia

M. Thomas, V. N.L. Wong

Research output: Contribution to journalReview ArticleResearchpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Regolith science is a multidisciplinary, comparatively recent field, having evolved from several older disciplines: geology, geomorphology, soil science, and geography. Initially, practitioners drew on terms from these varied sources, not always understanding them fully or using them accurately, leading to persistent misunderstandings and confusion around terminology.The term “regolith” was introduced by Merrill (1897), who wrote of the incoherent mass of varying thickness covering the underlying rocks, later clarified and redefined in The Regolith Glossary (Eggleton 2001) as: “the entire unconsolidated or secondarily recemented cover that overlies more coherent bedrock, that has been formed by weathering, erosion, transport and/or deposition of the older material. The regolith thus includes fractured and weathered basement rocks, saprolites, soils, organic accumulations, volcanic material, glacial deposits, colluvium, alluvium, evaporitic sediments, aeolian depositsand groundwater”. Or, in simple terms: “everything from freshrock, to fresh air.”
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)983-985
Number of pages3
JournalAustralian Journal of Earth Sciences
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 17 Nov 2017


  • Australia
  • cover
  • environment
  • exploration
  • Gondwana
  • landforms
  • mapping
  • regolith
  • resource management

Cite this