duricrust

duricrust

[door-i-kruhst, dyoor-]
noun
a hard crust that forms on or in soil in semiarid climates owing to cementation of soil particles. Compare caliche, hardpan ( defs 1, 2 ).

Origin:
< Latin dūr(us) hard + -i- + crust

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duricrust (ˈdjʊərɪˌkrʌst)
 
n
another name for caliche

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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duricrust

surface or near-surface of the Earth consisting of a hardened accumulation of silica (SiO2), alumina (Al2O3), and iron oxide (Fe2O3), in varying proportions. Admixtures of other substances commonly are present and duricrusts may be enriched with oxides of manganese or titanium within restricted areas. Thus, siliceous, ferruginous, and aluminous crusts constitute duricrusts proper. Encrusted layers of calcium carbonate, gypsum, and salt, however, are often considered forms of duricrust.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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