One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A fine-grained sedimentary rock formed from consolidated diatomaceous earth.
- ‘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.’
- ‘By this time, both groups were abundant and diversified globally, so much so that diatomite is a common marine sediment of the Miocene.’
- ‘The richest sources of diatom fossils are deposits of their skeletons known as diatomite, or diatomaceous earth.’
- ‘After the plasma was treated in a water bath at 60 [degrees] C for 30 min, the lipid extraction was done with Hydromatrix, a diatomite, in isopropanol and n-hexane.’
- ‘As diatoms collect on the ocean floor and are buried deeper and deeper, they are compressed and changed from a form known as diatomite, which is used in swimming pool filters, to opal.’
Late 19th century: from diatom + -ite.
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