Weathering rinds and rock coatings from an Arctic alpine environment, northern Scandinavia

John C. Dixon, Colin E. Thorn, Robert G. Darmody, Sean W. Campbell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Coarse rock debris exposed in the subaerial environment of northern Sweden displays the development of a wide variety of surface coatings. These include weathering rinds as well as a great diversity of geochemical coatings, including those dominated by Ca, Fe, Si, and Al. Each of these types of rock coatings displays a high degree of geochemical complexity. The weathering rinds exhibit both geochemical and morphologic changes to the parent rock cores, including extensive dissolution, oxidation, and hydration as well as disaggregation, fracturing, and cementation by secondary geochemical coatings. Chemical breakdown of the rock to form weathering rinds includes loss of K, Si, Mg, and Ca and build-up of Fe. Weathering rinds are fundamentally the result of dissolution, as no clay minerals were identified in the rinds. Rock coatings are distinguished from rinds by their clear accretionary nature. Despite the distinction made between weathering rinds and rock coatings, it is important to note that often the two are intimately related. The presence of rock coatings as well as weathering rinds on rock surfaces amplifies the important role played by geochemical processes in the Arctic alpine climate of northern Sweden in particular, as well as its significance in landscape evolution in such environments in general.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)226-238
Number of pages13
JournalBulletin of the Geological Society of America
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2002
Externally publishedYes


  • Alpine environments
  • Arctic environments
  • Chemical weathering
  • Rock coatings
  • Weathering rinds

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geology


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