Sandstone weathering: A century of research and innovation

Alice V. Turkington, Thomas R. Paradise

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

195 Scopus citations


A review of sandstone weathering research, particularly in the past 100 years, reveals a trajectory of enquiry from early description and classification of features, to development of process-based explanations, to decreasing scales of investigation, and a disparity between understanding of process(es) and explanations of the genesis of sandstone weathering features. Developments in expositions on mesoscale weathering features on sandstone surfaces are discussed, demonstrating a range of approaches to weathering phenomena - field-based and laboratory-based - that must be linked to provide an explanation of observed features on a landform scale. Throughout the twentieth century, a thematic chronology highlights certain trends in research: description of forms, often in arid and semi-arid environments; single process-form models; an emphasis on experimentation; difficulties in measuring weathering rates; and a persistent emphasis on physical causes of breakdown. A new research agenda is promoted in which biodeterioration and chemical processes gain parity, a holistic approach based on conceptual modeling of weathering systems gains prominence, and scale issues are addressed more rigorously.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)229-253
Number of pages25
Issue number1-2 SPEC. ISS.
StatePublished - Apr 1 2005


  • Sandstone
  • Weathering
  • Weathering geomorphology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Earth-Surface Processes


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