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caliche - caliche from the Great Basin Desert incorporating angular fragments of other rocks - hand/display specimen

$ 15.00

Caliche underlies desert soils in a large part of the Western U.S. and in other arid areas. It is composed of calcium carbonate and can be tens of feet thick. An ideal caliche profile would have a hardpan at the surface progressing downward into a platy or laminar layer which overlies a nodular zone,  and then intercepts the bedrock. Since a caliche takes tens to hundreds of thousands of years to form, changes in climate disrupt this sequence and an ideal profile is seldom seen.

The term caliche is Spanish from the Latin calx for lime. It forms when calcium carbonate is leached from the overlying soil and accumulates some distance below the surface. In parts of the Southwest, caliche posed a real challenge for pioneers when they attempted to dig wells.

Caliche frequently incorporates rocks from the desert surface. In this caliche, the calcium carbonate has cemented angular fragments of red dolomite and other rocks shed off the eastern slope of the Nopah Range. This was collected at the foot of the range along the highway east of Emigrant Pass, near the old Spanish pack mule trail from Santa Fe to Los Angeles. 

Both sides of each is shown. Either cut flat on one side or on both sides (the one with three coins).

 

 

 

Select a specimen: When more than one specimen is shown, you can select a particular specimen by telling us what is in the photo with it, a blue or black and silver pen, a black mechanical pencil or one of those plus some number of coins, or you can let us make the selection.

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