Goldich, Samuel S. Department of Geology, Colorado School of Mines, Golden, Colorado.
Last reviewed:November 2019
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The name given by F. Buchanan in 1807 to the iron-rich weathering product of basalt in southern India. The term is now used in a compositional sense for weathering products composed principally of the oxides and hydrous oxides of iron, aluminum, titanium, and manganese. Iron-rich or ferruginous laterite is largely hematite, Fe2O3, and goethite, HFeO2, and may be an ore of iron and nickel (Cuba, New Caledonia). Aluminous laterite is composed of gibbsite and boehmite, and is the principal ore of aluminum. Clay minerals of the kaolin group are typically associated with, and are genetically related to, laterite. Laterites range from soft, earthy, porous material to hard, dense rock.
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