Warta Geologi, Vol. 48, No. 1, April
2022, pp. 1–9
Rock-soil transition in weathering of a
porphyritic biotite granite
John Kuna Raj
No. 83, Jalan Burhanuddin Helmi 2, Taman
Tun Dr. Ismail, 60000 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Abstract: Concentric layers of weathered
materials around core-stones show the porphyritic biotite granite to experience
sequential, but gradational, changes in visible features, textures and
mineralogy as it transforms from ‘rock’ into ‘soil’. The changes start with the
opening-up of grain boundaries and micro-cracks (stage 1) followed by their
dark brown staining (stage 2) and the subsequent alteration (to sericite and
clay minerals) of groundmass plagioclase feldspar grains (stage 3). Biotite
flakes are then bleached and altered (to chlorite and clay minerals) (stage 4)
before there starts alteration (to sericite and clay minerals) of groundmass
alkali feldspar grains (stage 5) and finally alteration (to sericite and clay
minerals) of the alkali feldspar phenocrysts (stage 6). Quartz grains are not
altered during these stages of weathering, but disaggregate and reduce in size
due to continual opening-up of grain boundaries and micro-cracks. Increasing
stages of weathering are marked by decreasing dry unit weights, dry densities
and uniaxial compressive strengths, but increasing apparent porosities. The
transition between ‘rock’ and ‘soil’ occurs during stage 6 when all
plagioclase, and most alkali feldspar, groundmass grains have been altered as
are some alkali feldspar phenocrysts. Stage 6 is marked by large apparent
porosities (>18%) but low values of dry unit weight (<20.81 kN/m3),
dry density (<2,122 kg/m3) and uniaxial compressive strength
Keywords: Porphyritic biotite granite,
weathering, rock-soil transition
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Manuscript received 4 September 2021
Received in revised form 11 January 2022
Accepted 13 January 2022
Available online 26 April 2022
0126-5539; 2682-7549 / Published by the Geological Society of
© 2022 by the Author(s). This is an open access article distributed
under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY) License 4.0
DOI : https://doi.org/10.7186/wg481202201