Caliche

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Caliche zone on Kiowa-Comanche County road

Description

1) A surface crystalline deposit primarily composed of sodium nitrate with smaller amounts of potassium nitrate and sodium chloride. Caliche is mined in the Atacama Desert of northern Chile and Peru. It is used as a fertilizer.

2) A cemented calcareous subsoil layer of gravel, silt, and sand. Calcareous caliche is found in air regions of central and western Australia, in the Klahari Desert, and in the western US.

Pleistocene caliche

Synonyms and Related Terms

2. hardpan; duricrust; calcrete, kankar; caliche (Esp., Port.)

Sources Checked for Data in Record

  • G.S.Brady, Materials Handbook, McGraw-Hill Book Co., New York, 1971 Comment: p. 738
  • Richard S. Lewis, Hawley's Condensed Chemical Dictionary, Van Nostrand Reinhold, New York, 10th ed., 1993
  • Van Nostrand's Scientific Encyclopedia, Douglas M. Considine (ed.), Van Nostrand Reinhold, New York, 1976
  • Random House, Webster's Encyclopedic Unabridged Dictionary of the English Language, Grammercy Book, New York, 1997
  • The American Heritage Dictionary or Encarta, via Microsoft Bookshelf 98, Microsoft Corp., 1998