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Rock with a high concentration of phosphates in nodular or compact masses. The phosphates may be derived from a variety of sources, including marine invertebrates that secrete shells of calcium phosphate and the bones and excrement of vertebrates. Typical phosphorite beds contain about 30% phosphorus pentoxide (PO) and constitute the primary source of raw materials for phosphate fertilizers. Significant deposits in the U.S. include the Phosphoria Formation in Idaho and the Monterey Formation in California. Major deposits also occur in the Sechura Desert in Peru.
Variants of PHOSPHORITE
phosphorite or phosphate rock
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on phosphorite, visit Britannica.com.