The exposed layers are dark brown to reddish that are usually slaggy or lavalike form. It is normally soft when newly quarried but solidify on exposure.
Lateritic soils have clay minerals but poor in silica content since during weathering silica is leached out by water passing through the soil. It is frequently found in moisture areas such as in tropical and subtropical regions.
Broad layers of laterite are spongy and somewhat permeable which can function as aquifers in rural areas and it is used in sewage treatment facilities wherein it is useful in acid solution followed by precipitation to remove heavy metals and phosphorus.
The recurrence of dry and wet seasons are the vital elements for the formation of laterites wherein during wet season rocks are leached by percolating rain water and the resulting solutions holding the leached ions are transported into the surface by capillary action during dry season.
Word Origin: later= “brick” or “tile” + ite (suffix)
• lateric (adjective)