Plinthite

The sesquioxide-rich, humus-poor, highly weathered mixture of clay with quartz and other diluents. It commonly appears as red mottles, usually in platy, polygonal, or reticulate patterns. Plinthite changes irreversibly to an ironstone hardpan or to irregular aggregates on repeated wetting and drying, especially if it is exposed also to heat from the sun. In a moist soil, plinthite can be cut with a spade. It is a form of laterite. [Source: NRCS Glossary]

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