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What is Caliche
Caliche can be found all through the Valley of Fire park, but the best example can be seen at Baseline Mesa.
Baseline Mesa Information:
- Coordinates: 36.4483092°N, -114.4774805°W
- Approximate Elevation: 2,365 feet (721 meters)
Caliche (/kəˈliːtʃiː/) is a sedimentary rock, a hardened natural cement of calcium carbonate that binds other materials—such as gravel, sand, clay, and silt.
It occurs worldwide, in aridisol and mollisol soil orders—generally in arid or semiarid regions, including in central and western Australia, in the Kalahari Desert, in the High Plains of the western USA, in the Sonoran Desert and the Mojave Desert, and in Eastern Saudi Arabia Al-Hasa.
Caliche is also known as calcrete or kankar (in India).
It belongs to the duricrusts.
The term caliche is Spanish and is originally from the Latin calx, meaning lime.
Caliche is generally light-colored but can range from white to light pink to reddish-brown, depending on the impurities present.
It generally occurs on or near the surface but can be found in deeper subsoil deposits, as well.
Layers vary from a few inches to feet thick, and multiple layers can exist in a single location.
- Caliche from Wikipedia
- Baseline Mesa Topo Map
What is Caliche
I am an outdoor enthusiast who would rather be on a backcountry backpacking trip than a stroll on the beach (although I do love the beach!).
Living in Las Vegas has afforded me the opportunity to easily explore the Southwest region of the United States.
A nature lover, I am often found at the end of the pack taking photos and videos of the wildlife found on the trails. Colorful flowers, desert animals, and unusual geological rock formations are often the majority of my photos.