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Revista Brasileira de Ciência do Solo

versão On-line ISSN 1806-9657

Resumo

LADEIRA, Francisco Sergio Bernardes. Soils of the past: origin and identity. Rev. Bras. Ciênc. Solo [online]. 2010, vol.34, n.6, pp.1773-1786. ISSN 1806-9657.  http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0100-06832010000600001.

Soils are a result of the interaction between forming factors and processes in the different landscapes of the Earth´s land surfaces. Long-term processes change landscapes and associated soil profiles. These changes result from gradual or catastrophic processes of eolian, tectonic and climatic or even human impact, and are generally irreversible, destroying the associated soils. Nevertheless, in particular situations soils may remain preserved in a specific area of the ancient landscape, embedded in sedimentary and volcanic sequences, resulting in the so-called paleosols. Paleosols are a source of relevant information for a variety of purposes and are particularly valuable in providing evidence for reconstructing past terrestrial ecosystems and environments, mainly in the case of rare or nonexistent fossils; for the characterization of ancient atmospheres and paleoclimate, stratigraphic correlations, as indicator of old relief surfaces, of mineral concentrations; pedogenetic paleoprocesses and sedimentary processes, and as indicator of continental drift in geoarchaeology. In Brazil, studies of paleosols are still rare and relatively recent, beginning in the 1970s, in contrast to the United States of America and Europe, where such studies are quite advanced and widely reported. This review discusses relevant concepts in paleopedology, with the purpose of arousing some interest, mainly among the pedologic scientific community of Brazil, where little research work on this subject is available yet.

Palavras-chave : Paleopedology; paleosols; paleoenvironment.

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