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gossan

[gos-uh n, goz-] /ˈgɒs ən, ˈgɒz-/
noun
1.
a rust-colored deposit of mineral matter at the outcrop of a vein or orebody containing iron-bearing materials.
Also called iron hat.
Origin
1770-1780
1770-80; orig. dial. (Cornwall) < Cornish, derivative of gōs blood; akin to Welsh gwaed
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for gossan
  • When a saprolite layer is produced at a sulfide ore body the leached zone is often referred to as a gossan.
  • gossan in shallow, caved pits locally is coated with malachite.
  • Sulfide-bearing gossan in one pit contains tetrahedrite.
  • The iron-stained hornfels, which is locally gossan, contains disseminated pyrite and small quartz-pyrite veinlets.
  • gossan typically has an earthy or cellular texture and many ore deposits have been discovered by exploration for gossans.
Encyclopedia Article for gossan

rust-coloured oxide and hydroxide minerals of iron and manganese that cap an ore deposit. Gossans form by the oxidation of the sulfide minerals in an ore deposit and they thus may be used as clues to the existence of subsurface ore deposits, especially if distinctive boxworks are present.

Learn more about gossan with a free trial on Britannica.com
Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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