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[mass noun] A soft, crumbly, porous sedimentary deposit formed from the fossil remains of diatoms.
- ‘Diatoms have an extensive fossil record going back to the Cretaceous; some rocks are formed almost entirely of fossil diatoms, and are known as diatomite or diatomaceous earth.’
- ‘Depth filtration, usually with a particularly porous form of silica called diatomaceous earth forming the layer through which the cloudy wine is passed, is commonly used for this early rough filtration.’
- ‘As the diatoms die, they sink to the ocean floor, becoming a thick ooze of decomposing matter, and eventually giving rise to deposits of the sediment called diatomaceous earth.’
- ‘Also, vacuuming and using diatomaceous earth (the sandlike remains of ancient marine organisms) are natural ways of helping to control fleas in the environment.’
- ‘The richest sources of diatom fossils are deposits of their skeletons known as diatomite, or diatomaceous earth.’
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