banded iron formation

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banded iron formation

[¦band·əd ′ī·ərn fȯr‚mā·shən]
(geology)
A sedimentary mineral deposit consisting of alternate silica-rich (chert or quartz) and iron-rich layers formed 2.5-3.5 billion years ago; the major source of iron ore.
References in periodicals archive ?
The researchers, led by Kurt Konhauser of the University of Alberta in Edmonton, analyzed the trace element composition of sedimentary rocks known as banded-iron formations, or BIFs, from dozens of different localities around the world, ranging in age from 3,800 to 550 million years.