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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.
b. See sodium nitrate.
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]
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]
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|Noun||1.||caliche - crust or layer of hard subsoil encrusted with calcium-carbonate occurring in arid or semiarid regions|
|2.||caliche - nitrate-bearing rock or gravel of the sodium nitrate deposits of Chile and Peru|