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This monument is constructed of laterite brickstones. It commemorates Buchanan who first described laterite at this site. Monument of laterite brickstones at Angadipuram, Kerala, India, which commemorates where laterite was first described and discussed by Buchanan-Hamilton in 1807. Laterite is a soil and rock type rich in iron and aluminium, and is commonly considered to have formed in hot and wet tropical areas. Nearly all laterites are of rusty-red coloration, because of high iron oxide content. Laterite has commonly been referred to as a soil type as well as being a rock type. At least a few researchers specializing in regolith development have considered that hopeless confusion has evolved around the name.
Historically, laterite was cut into brick-like shapes and used in monument-building. After 1000 CE, construction at Angkor Wat and other southeast Asian sites changed to rectangular temple enclosures made of laterite, brick and stone. Since the mid-1970s, some trial sections of bituminous-surfaced, low-volume roads have used laterite in place of stone as a base course. Laterite in Sơn Tây, Hanoi, Vietnam. Francis Buchanan-Hamilton first described and named a laterite formation in southern India in 1807. The word laterite has been used for variably cemented, sesquioxide-rich soil horizons. A sesquioxide is an oxide with three atoms of oxygen and two metal atoms.
It has also been used for any reddish soil at or near the Earth’s surface. Laterite covers are thick in the stable areas of the Western Ethiopian Shield, on cratons of the South American Plate, and on the Australian Shield. Laterites can be either soft and easily broken into smaller pieces, or firm and physically resistant. Basement rocks are buried under the thick weathered layer and rarely exposed. Lateritic soils form the uppermost part of the laterite cover. This diagram shows the position of laterite under residual soils and the ferruginous zone. Laterite is often located under residual soils.
The initial products of weathering are essentially kaolinized rocks called saprolites. Statistical analyses show that the transition in the mean and variance levels of 18O during the middle of the Pleistocene was abrupt. An essential feature for the formation of laterite is the repetition of wet and dry seasons. The reaction zone where rocks are in contact with water—from the lowest to highest water table levels—is progressively depleted of the easily leached ions of sodium, potassium, calcium and magnesium. The mineralogical and chemical compositions of laterites are dependent on their parent rocks. Laterites consist mainly of quartz, zircon, and oxides of titanium, iron, tin, aluminium and manganese, which remain during the course of weathering.
Quartz is the most abundant relic mineral from the parent rock. Laterites vary significantly according to their location, climate and depth. The main host minerals for nickel and cobalt can be either iron oxides, clay minerals or manganese oxides. Yves Tardy, from the French Institut National Polytechnique de Toulouse and the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, calculated that laterites cover about one-third of the Earth’s continental land area. Lateritic soils are the subsoils of the equatorial forests, of the savannas of the humid tropical regions, and of the Sahelian steppes. South America, the southwestern portion of Africa, the desert regions of north-central Africa, the Arabian peninsula and the interior of Australia.
Some of the oldest and most highly deformed ultramafic rocks which underwent laterization are found in the complex Precambrian shields in Brazil and Australia. Smaller highly deformed Alpine-type intrusives have formed laterite profiles in Guatemala, Colombia, Central Europe, India and Burma. Large thrust sheets of Mesozoic to Tertiary 251- to 65-million-year-old island arcs and continental collision zones underwent laterization in New Caledonia, Cuba, Indonesia and the Philippines. Laterite soils have a high clay content, which mean they have higher Cation Exchange Capacity and water-holding capacity than sandy soils. However, if the structure of lateritic soils becomes degraded, a hard crust can form on the surface, which hinders water infiltration, the emergence of seedlings, and leads to increased runoff.
A man is cutting laterite into brickstones in Angadipuram, India. Example of construction with laterite in Pre Rup, Angkor, Cambodia. When moist, laterites can easily be cut with a spade into regular-sized blocks. Laterite is mined while it is below the water table, so it is wet and soft. The art of quarrying laterite material into masonry is suspected to have been introduced from the Indian subcontinent.
After 1000 CE Angkorian construction changed from circular or irregular earthen walls to rectangular temple enclosures of laterite, brick and stone structures. Geographic surveys show areas which have laterite stone alignments which may be foundations of temple sites that have not survived. The Khmer people constructed the Angkor monuments—which are widely distributed in Cambodia and Thailand—between the 9th and 13th centuries. Differences in the amounts of minor elements arsenic, antimony, vanadium and strontium were measured between the two laterites. Angkor Wat—located in present-day Cambodia—is the largest religious structure built by Suryavarman II, who ruled the Khmer Empire from 1112 to 1152. It is a World Heritage site.
Laterites can easily be cut with a spade into regular, the soils can be restored. Bridges and other sub — sulfate in the seawater mixed with land sediments containing iron oxides and organic matter. Acidification of floodplains due to river level decline during drought”. Old island arcs and continental collision zones underwent laterization in New Caledonia, stone or gravel. Lateritic soils form the uppermost part of the laterite cover. In many parts of the world, because of high iron oxide content. Grade bauxite rich in iron and aluminium; agricultural Land Drainage: A wider application through caution and restraint.