One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A sedimentary rock containing a high proportion of calcium phosphate.
- ‘Then, in 1987, the ‘Phosphorite War’ broke out when Soviet plans to extract northeast Estonia's large deposits of phosphorite galvanized opposition throughout the country.’
- ‘The late Neoproterozoic Doushantuo Formation in South China contains several exceptionally preserved biotas in its cherts, phosphorites, and black shales.’
- ‘The phosphorite marks the base of the Roberts Mountains Formation at this locality.’
- ‘Under such conditions biogenic carbonate may be replaced by phosphorite (as off the coast of South Africa beneath the Benguela Current).’
- ‘Fossiliferous, thin marine shales, associated with biochemical precipitates such as glauconite and phosphorite, are common in transgressive systems tracts.’
Late 18th century: from phosphorus + -ite.
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