Fundamentals of Clay Mineral Crystal Structure and Physicochemical Properties -- Basics for the Study of Soil and Weathered Rock Geochemical Systems -- The Development of Soils and Weathering Profile -- Clay Mineral Formation in Weathered Rocks: Water/Rock Interaction -- Plants and Soil Clay Minerals -- Clays and Climate - Clay Assemblages Formed under Extreme Humidity Conditions -- Physical Disequilibrium and Transportation of Soil Material -- The Place of Clay Mineral Species in Soils and Alterites -- The Place of Clay Mineral Species in Soils and Alterites. Of course such a book as we propose here is not the product of just two people working together, although the experience has been a great pleasure for us. We would like to thank our many collaborators and students who have encouraged our effort by their, often, sharp criticism. We hope that we have used their comments to good effect. Es- cially we would like to thank Pierre Barré for his help, enthusiasm and consent for the use of much of his thesis material in formulating the last chapter of the book. Dominique Righi was instrumental in giving us ideas, useful comments and vigorous debate for a great number of our ideas and during the periods of formulation of our conclusions. Our approach is from mineral chemistry and hence has greatly benefited from disc- sions with people who know soils and plants. The project of this book was realized and encouraged with the help of Wolfgang Engel who, unfortunately is not with us to see its finalization. We greatly regret his passing. This book is not in the general pattern of accepted knowledge and analysis of the phenomena which affect the occurrence of clays in the surface environment. We stress the role of plants at the bio-interface and the importance of microsystems at the water/ rock interface. We believe that the literature at our and anyone's disposal shows that the system of clay formation and reaction is highly dynamic, especially at the surface.