- a surface deposit consisting of sand or clay impregnated with crystalline salts such as sodium nitrate or sodium chloride.
- a zone of calcium carbonate or other carbonates in soils of semiarid regions.
sodium nitrate deposits in Chile and Peru, 1858, from Amer.Sp., from Sp. caliche "pebble in a brick," from L. calx "pebble."
"By the time of Gilmore's visit, Blackwater Draw was an arid, almost vegetation-free jumble of sandy drifts and faces of fractured caliche."
- Charles Mann, 1491: New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus