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a. A mineral deposit rich in sodium nitrate occurring naturally in Chile, Peru, and the southwest United States, and used as fertilizer, in explosives, and as a raw material for manufacturing nitric acid.
a. The accretions of calcium carbonate in soil.
b. See hardpan.

[American Spanish, from Spanish, pebble in a brick, flake of lime, from cal, lime, from Latin calx, calc-, lime; see calx.]


1. (Geological Science) Also called: calcrete a bed of sand or clay in arid regions cemented by calcium carbonate, sodium chloride, and other soluble minerals
2. (Geological Science) a surface layer of soil encrusted with calcium carbonate, occurring in arid regions. Also called: duricrust
[C20: from American Spanish, from Latin calx lime]


(kəˈli tʃi)

1. a surface deposit of sodium nitrate found in South American desert areas: formerly a major source of chemical fertilizer.
2. a zone of calcium carbonate or other carbonates in soils of semiarid regions.
Compare hardpan.
[1855–60; < Sp: flake of lime]
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.caliche - crust or layer of hard subsoil encrusted with calcium-carbonate occurring in arid or semiarid regions
dirt, soil - the part of the earth's surface consisting of humus and disintegrated rock
2.caliche - nitrate-bearing rock or gravel of the sodium nitrate deposits of Chile and Peru
rock, stone - material consisting of the aggregate of minerals like those making up the Earth's crust; "that mountain is solid rock"; "stone is abundant in New England and there are many quarries"
References in periodicals archive ?
Many well-drained occurrences in this interval contain pedogenic slickensides, mud aggregates (Gardiner 2005), and caliche nodules, suggesting seasonal variations in precipitation.
For instance, it's been working with bar/nightlife impresario Rande Gerber on Caliche, an aged, ultra-premium white rum, since 2012.
The patchy nature of this shinnery-oak-sand-dune habitat, the species of lizards that use it, and the ongoing development of oil and gas resources within the Mescalero sands ecosystem present an excellent system for studying relationships between quality and quantity of habitat patches, abundance of lizards, and effects of land conversion to caliche roads and well pads on both habitat and abundance of lizards.
SWANSONG: Caliche, pictured with Carlos Munoz on the right, were due to perform for the final time today Picture by DOUG MOODY
The waters proposed for treatment, and the fish species that would be targeted include Harris, Sedge, Tern, and Dune lakes (sunfish and bass); Heart, June, North-North Windmill, North Windmill, Windmill, Canal, and Pit lakes (sunfish, yellow perch, bass, and carp); North Teal, South Teal, Herman, and Lyle lakes (sunfish, yellow perch, bass, and carp); Upper Caliche, Lower Caliche, and West Caliche lakes and drainage (sunfish, yellow perch, and carps.
The relative ease of processing caliche with high iodine content in Chile, and iodine-rich brines associated with natural gas extraction in Japan, are the main factors contributing to the leading position of these two countries in world iodine supply.
Children composed and performed their own music using traditional instruments made from animals and plants with panpipe playing musicians Caliche.
LLANGOLLEN: Royal International Pavilion (01492 872000), Caliche Music from the Andes.
1] Anwar Al-Yaqout and Frank Townsend, Applicability of Caliche (Gatch) as Liner/Cover in Arid Climate Landfills: Laboratory and Field Pad Testing of Permeability Practice Periodical of Hazardous, Toxic, and Radioactive Waste Management.
Alvaro, aged 62, who plays the haunting pipes with popular band Caliche, was born in Peru but his lived in this country since the 1970s.
The ridges are made up of brownish sandy sediments, including whole and fragmented marine mollusk shells and rounded caliche pebbles.