caliche

[ kuh-lee-chee ]
/ kəˈli tʃi /

noun Geology.

a surface deposit consisting of sand or clay impregnated with crystalline salts such as sodium nitrate or sodium chloride.
a zone of calcium carbonate or other carbonates in soils of semiarid regions.

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Compare duricrust, hardpan.

Origin of caliche

1855–60; < Spanish: flake of lime, equivalent to cal lime (< Latin calc-; see chalk) + -iche noun suffix
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

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British Dictionary definitions for caliche

caliche
/ (kæˈliːtʃɪ) /

noun

Also called: calcrete a bed of sand or clay in arid regions cemented by calcium carbonate, sodium chloride, and other soluble minerals
a surface layer of soil encrusted with calcium carbonate, occurring in arid regionsAlso called: duricrust

Word Origin for caliche

C20: from American Spanish, from Latin calx lime
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Scientific definitions for caliche

caliche
[ kə-lēchē ]

See hardpan.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.