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laterite




laterite
Laterite. Image source: Dept. of Geology, of University of Maryland
A residual red clay soil, usually soft and porous, consisting mainly of hydrated oxides of iron and aluminum. Some is used as iron ore. It is formed from various iron-containing parent rocks by a process known as laterization: secular weathering with powerful leaching out of silica, alkalis, and alkaline earths, under oxidizing conditions. A tropical climate with frequent heavy seasonal rainfall and good drainage is required for its formation.


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   • GEOLOGY AND PLANETARY SCIENCE