A general term for a prominent zone of secondary carbonate accumulation in surficial materials in warm, subhumid to arid areas. Caliche is formed by both geologic and pedologic processes. Finely crystalline calcium carbonate forms a nearly continuous surface-coating and void-filling medium in geologic (parent) materials. Cementation ranges from weak in nonindurated forms to very strong in indurated forms. Other minerals (e.g., carbonates, silicate, and sulfate) may occur as accessory cements. Most petrocalcic horizons and some calcic horizons are caliche. [Source: NRCS Glossary]

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