- 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.
- 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
sodium nitrate deposits in Chile and Peru, 1858, from American Spanish, from Spanish caliche “pebble in a brick,” from Latin calx “pebble” (see chalk (n.)).
- See hardpan.