Volume 126 (2017) Issue 3 Pages 355-367
The weathering of carbonate rocks in soil is an essential process in the evolution of karst landforms as well as in the global carbon cycle. Among the various methods for measuring the weathering rates of carbonate rocks, a field weathering experiment using rock tablets is a simple and relatively easy method to estimate the spatial distribution of weathering rates in karst terrains. This paper introduces some results of field experiments on the weathering of carbonate rocks. The results are summarized based on the following three factors: global climatic condition (annual temperature and precipitation), local environmental conditions (soil moisture), and duration of experiment. Annual precipitation is one of the major factors controlling the weathering rates of carbonate rocks. At a local scale, weathering rates are controlled by the duration of water saturation in soil, although some experiments also indicate the effects of soil water chemistry on weathering rates. Changes in the surface condition of tablets, as well as inter-annual climatic variations also affect weathering rates. Duration of experiment should be set carefully to reduce influences from the duration of the experiment.