from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. Soft, thoroughly decomposed rock rich in clay and remaining in its original place.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. In petrography, a term applied by Becker (1894) to disintegrated and more or less decomposed rock which remains in place, that is, has not been transported.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- n. a deposit of clay and disintegrating rock that is found in its original place
Sorry, no etymologies found.
I suggest you look up the word saprolite for some discussion on soil formation.
Gneiss, schist, and granite are typical rock types, covered with deep saprolite and mostly red, clayey subsoils.
The rolling to hilly well-dissected upland contains mostly gneiss and schist bedrock that is covered with clayey and micaceous saprolite.
The Northern Outer Piedmont is composed of mostly gneiss and schist rock intruded by granitic plutons, and veneered with saprolite.
It also has less bouldery colluvium than those two surrounding regions and more saprolite.
Most rocks of the Piedmont are covered by a thick mantle of saprolite, except along some major stream valley bluffs and on a few scattered granitic domes and flatrocks.
They are planted in full sun in the saprolite sub soil layer that was spread on top.
It is intruded by plutons and is veneered by clay-rich weathering products (i.e. saprolite).
The Northern Outer Piedmont (45f) is underlain mostly by deformed, deeply weathered gneissic rock that is intruded by plutons and veneered with saprolite; it is lithologically distinct from the Carolina Slate Belt (45c) and the sedimentary rock of the Southeastern Plains (65) and Triassic Uplands (45g).
Clay-rich weathering products (i.e. saprolite) have developed on bedrock but are typically thinner than in neighboring parts of the Piedmont.