Warm desert environments are characterized by the occurrence of a variety of surface and near-surface, chemically precipitated crusts, including calcrete, silcrete, and gypcrete, and their intergrades (Dixon 1994). Collectively, these are referred to as duricrusts (Woolnough 1930). This chapter focuses on the morphology, chemistry, mineralogy, and origin of the major types of crusts found in dryland environments. Particular attention is given to recent research from Australia, the United States, the Middle East and Africa.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • John C. Dixon
    • 1
  • Sue J. McLaren
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of GeosciencesUniversity of ArkansasFayettevilleUSA
  2. 2.Department of GeographyUniversity of LeicesterUK

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