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This is usually the fate of every plot of land which remains above sea level long enough.Large areas of Canada, for instance, have been eroded down to the Precambrian basement rock!The geologic history of the strata making up the Grand Canyon is as much a history of erosion as it is of deposition!Consequently, a patch of soil cannot be older than the last local erosion--whenever that might have been.) Just because a patch of topsoil takes x centuries to build up doesn't mean that the land is x centuries old.Most likely, that topsoil began to build up only recently, geologically speaking, and has either reached a practical limit to its depth or has been subject to erosion.Sudden changes in temperature will have a smaller effect on the deeper parent rock.With the exception of the organic content, drawn mostly from the atmosphere, and the larger volume that broken rock takes up (which may raise the soil some distance above the original surface), in situ soils build .
A few sickly-looking roots, long dead for all I can tell, do penetrate the clay, usually by hugging the surfaces of the boulders, before being stopped cold by the hardpan.It is no longer a paradise for bacteria, and fungi.What organic material it did have is often lost by decay and slow oxidation.The sediment added to our patch of land may be great for building new soil, but if it accumulates too quickly it will merely bury the existing soil. In any case, the old topsoil, now compressed and deeply buried by sediment and soil, is no longer turned over by earthworms or small animals.It is deprived of oxygen and fresh organic material, such as rotting leaves.