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Re: Laterite

Robert H <robertph at best_com> wrote:
> Ok guys, I realize my quest is a personal one and I dont expect anybody
> else to have any interest. But three people said there was prehistoric
> laterite in North America. So all I ask is that you give me the name of
> a location, a state, a city, a county, a province, anything! It shouldnt
> be that difficult for you. In the USA every town and county keeps soil
> samples.  I can then find out if there is any laterite at that location
> by going to a number of sources. Large universities have very well know
> geological research departments, theres one in every state. James
> perhaps you could tell me the largest university in British Columbia. If
> the education system in Canada is even only half what it is in the USA,
> their geological research department ought to know if there is any
> laterite in their own back yard. Dont you think?  Just a name, thats all
> I need.

two points (three kind of):

i) if some geological research department was unaware of the existence
of a particular geological feature, this would not be proof of the
existence or non-existence of that feature. It sounds to me as if some
fairly compelling evidence has already been offered about the existence
of geological laterite formations in North America in AT LEAST 3
distinct very large locations. Oh yeah, ALL laterite started forming in
prehistoric times; remember, history only goes back a few thousand
years. 30,000 years ago half of our ancestors were humping around on
glaciers chasing woolly mammoths and the other half were running down
dinner on the veldt! ;-)

ii) I'm confused about the theme behind your original posting. I think
you were implying that a North American company is marketing a laterite
product and you suggest this is misleading advertising since you assert
that no laterite is to be found in North America. I don't know about
that last part but I figure if it walks like a duck and quacks like a
duck... (translation: if its just as effective as a substrate product
and seems to be chemically equivalent then why are we sweating the
terminology?) Put this another way, there are a heck of a lot of rocks
that are REAL laterite that are not suitable for an aquarium substrate;
the term laterite of itself possesses no magical quality. The attributes
of texture, chemical composition, pH, reactivity and oxygen demand (to
name but a few) are what make these products or materials suitable.
There are also infinitely many permutations (combinations) of substrates
that work well for growing aquatic plants. The term laterite or
later-soil is so vague and imprecise in geophysical terms that its
largely a moot point.

iii) I read what Christopher Coleman wrote: "Mostly your post hasn't
added anything new to what laterite is.
Laterite is inherently old so there isn't anything inherently new to
add.  But your post had enough inaccuracies to add to the confusion. 
Will that be fair to anyone new on the list not knowing anything about
this old thing?" I think Chris was trying to be humorous; I prefer to
look at it in that light not as criticism or sarcasm. Forgive the punch
line explanation; the mineral laterite is geologically old and the
subject of laterite is old for us old-timers on the APD. ;-)

Anyhow at least there are a couple of new facts that crawled out from
under the rocks this discussion has turned over so all is not a loss!   

And that remark comparing Canadian and American educational
institutions; me-thinks this man is -trying- to provoke a flame war!
Canucks: are we gonna take this??? This is an invitation for
PUN-ishment! Volleys away!

Steve Pushak                              Vancouver, BC, CANADA 

who should know better about getting into this discussion... just can't
help himself ;-)