severe drying out. Dehydration.

desiccation (Wikipedia)
Centripetal desiccation cracks in the Lower Jurassic Moenave Formation at the St. George Dinosaur Discovery Site at Johnson Farm, southwestern Utah. A dinosaur footprint is at center.

Desiccation (from Latin de- "thorougly" + siccare "to dry") is the state of extreme dryness, or the process of extreme drying. A desiccant is a hygroscopic (attracts and holds water) substance that induces or sustains such a state in its local vicinity in a moderately sealed container.

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