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Before modern mineral analysis, the name "limonite" was given to many of the yellowish to yellowish brown iron oxides produced during the weathering of iron-bearing rocks or deposited as bog, lake, and shallow marine sediments. Researchers who studied "limonite" discovered that it is amorphous and has a variable composition. It often contains significant amounts of iron oxide minerals such as goethite and hematite. This research revealed that the material called "limonite" does not meet the definition of a mineral. Instead, limonite is a mineraloid composed mainly of hydrous iron oxides that are often found in intimate associations with iron minerals. Today the word "limonite" is used as a field and classroom term for these materials because they cannot be identified in hand specimens and their identity is unknown without laboratory testing. The time and expense required to do this testing is generally not needed, unless the material is going to be used in industry or it is the subject of a detailed study. Thus, the name "limonite" is not obsolete; it is still meaningful and useful - ""

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