At Snowshoe Mountain the primary bedrock is quite homogeneous, but weathering processes vary as waters moves through the soils, vadose zone and phreatic zone of the subsurface. In the thin soil, physical degradation of tuff facilitates preferential dissolution of potassium ion from glass within the rock matrix, while other silicate minerals remain unaltered. In the vadose zone, in the upper few meters of fractured bedrock, dilute water infiltrates during spring snowmelt and summer storms, leading to preferential dissolution of augite exposed on fracture surfaces. Deeper yet, in the phreatic zone of the fractured bedrock, Pleistocene calcite fracture fillings dissolve, and dioctahedral and trioctahedral clays form as penetrative weathering alters feldspar and pyroxene. Alkalinity is generated and silica concentrations are buffered by mineral alteration reactions.