Saprolite is an extremely weathered rock. It's formed in the lower zones of soil profiles and represent deep weathering of the bedrock surface. In most outcrops its color comes from ferric compounds. Deeply weathered profiles are widespread on the continental landmasses between latitudes 35°N and 35°S.
Conditions for the formation of deeply weathered regolith include a topographically moderate relief flat enough to prevent erosion and to allow leaching of the products of chemical weathering. A second condition is long periods of tectonic stability; tectonic activity and climate change can cause erosion. The third condition is humid tropical to temperate climate.
Poorly weathered saprolite grit aquifers are capable of producing groundwater, often suitable for livestock. Deep weathering causes the formation of many secondary and supergene ores – bauxite, iron ores, saprolitic gold, supergene copper, uranium and heavy minerals in residual accumulations.