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Superglossary - Geology
Category: Sciences > Geology
Date & country: 15/12/2013, US
Words: 758


Debris Avalanche
The sudden downslope movement of rock and soil on a steep slope.

Declination
At any place on Earth, the angle between the magnetic and rotational poles.

Decollment
A horizontal to subhorizntal fault or shear zone with a very large displacement. The rocks above the

Deflation
The removal of clay- and silt-size particles from a soil by wind erosion. The term can also be used

Delay Rental
A payment to a mineral rights owner by a lessee if commercial production does not begin according to

Delta
A deposit of sediment that forms where a stream enters a standing body of water such as a lake or oc

Delta Kame
A deposit having the form of a steep, flat topped hill, left at the front of a retreating continenta

Dendritic Drainage
A stream drainage pattern that resembles the veins of a leaf in map view. Occurs mainly where the ro

Density
The mass per unit volume of a substance, commonly expressed in grams/ cubic centimeter.

Density Current
A gravity-driven flow of dense water down an underwater slope. The increased density of the water is

Deposition
The settling from suspension of transported sediments. Also, the precipitation of chemical sediments

Deposition Remnant Magnetization
A weak magnetization created in sedimentary rocks by the rotation of magnetic crystals into line wit

Desert Pavement
A ground cover of granule-size and larger particles that is typically found in arid areas. This grou

Detrital
A word used in reference to sediments or sedimentary rocks that are composed of particles that were

Detrital Sediment
A sediment deposited by a physical process.

Development
The work done on a mineral property before mineral production begins on a commercial scale.

Development Well
A well drilled within the proven area of an oil or gas reservoir to the depth of the productive stra

Developmental Drilling
Drilling done to delineate the boundaries of a known mineral deposit or to evaluate the deposit in a

Diagenesis
All of the changes which happen to a sediment after deposition, excluding weathering and metamorphis

Diatom
A one celled plant that lives in the shallow waters of lakes, streams or oceans. Many of these secre

Diatom Ooze
A seafloor sediment that consists of at least 30% diatom remains.

Diatomite
A light colored, fine-grained siliceous sedimentary rock that forms from a sediment rich in diatom r

Diatreme
A volcanic vent filled with breccia by the explosive escape of gases.

Differentiated Planet
A planet that has layers composed of elements and minerals of different densities. As an example, Ea

Diorite
A coarse-grained, intrusive igneous rock that contains a mixture of feldspar, pyroxene, hornblende a

Dip
The angle that a rock unit, fault or other rock structure makes with a horizontal plane. Expressed a

Directional Drilling
Drilling wells that are deliberately deviated from the vertical to hit a target that is not directly

Discharge
The volume of water in a flowing stream that passes a given location in a unit of time. Frequently e

Discontinuity
A surface separating rock layers of differing properties or compositions. (See seismic discontinuity

Dissolved Load
The dissolved material being carried by a stream.

Distribution Pipeline
A pipeline that carries natural gas between a main transmission line and a consumer.

Divide
A ridge of high ground separating two drainage basins emptied by different streams.

Dome
An uplift that is round or elliptical in map view with beds dipping away in all directions from a ce

Domestic Operations
Domestic operations are activities located in the United States, including the offshore territorial

Drainage Basin
The geographic area that contributes runoff to a stream. It can be outlined on a topographic map by

Drainage Divide
The boundary between two adjacent drainage basins. Drainage divides are ridge crests (or less obviou

Drawdown
A lowering of the water table around a producing well. The drawdown at any given location will be th

Drift
A general term for all sedimentary materials deposited directly from the ice or melt water of a glac

Drift (Glacial)
A collective term for all the rock, sand, and clay that is transported and deposited by a glacier ei

Drilling Arrangement
A contractual agreement under which a mineral rights owner or lessee assigns a fractional interest i

Drumlin
A low, smoothly rounded, elongate hill. Drumlins are deposits of compacted till that are sculpted be

Dry Wash
An intermittent streambed in an arroyo or canyon that carries water only briefly after a rain.

Dry-Hole
A well drilled in hopes of finding oil or natural gas that fails to make commercial production rates

Dry-Hole Contribution
A payment made to the owner of an unsuccessful well in exchange for a log of the well and evaluation

Dune
A mound or ridge of wind-blown sand. Typically found in deserts and inland from a beach. Many dunes

Earthflow
A detached mass of soil that moves downslope over a curved failure surface under the influence of gr

Earthquake
The violent oscillatory motion of the ground caused by the passage of seismic waves radiating from a

Ebb Tide
A tidal current that generally moves seaward and occurs during the part of the tide cycle when sea l

Echo-Sounder
An oceanographic instrument that emits sound pulses into the water and measures its depth by the tim

Ecliptic
The plane that contains the Earth's orbit around the Sun.

Eclogite
An extremely high-pressure metamorphic rock containing garnet and pyroxene.

Ecology
The science of the life cycles, populations, and interactions of various biological species as contr

Effluent Stream
A stream that gains water from ground water flow. These streams are typical of humid climates where

Elastic Limit
The maximum stress that can be applied to a body without resulting in permanent deformation - the ro

Elastic Rebound Theory
A theory that explains the earthquake process. In this theory, slowly accumulating elastic strain bu

Electron
A subatomic particle with a negative charge and of negligible mass that orbits the nucleus of an ato

Elevation
The vertical distance between mean sea level and a point or object on, above or below Earth's surfac

Elliptical Orbit
An orbit with the shape of a geometrical ellipse. All orbits are elliptical or hyperbolic, with the

Eolian
A term used in reference to the wind. Eolian materials or structures are deposited by or created by

Eon
The major divisions of the geologic time scale. Eons are divided into intervals know as 'eras'. Two

Ephemeral Stream
A stream that flows for a short interval of time after precipitation or snow melt in the immediate a

Epicenter
The point on the Earth's surface directly above the focus or hypocenter of an Earthquake.

Epoch
A subdivision of geologic time that is longer than an age but shorter than a period. The Tertiary Pe

Era
A subdivision of geologic time that is longer than a period but shorter than an eon. Precambrian, Pa

Erosion
A general term applied to the wearing away and movement of earth materials by gravity, wind, water a

Esker
A long winding ridge of sorted sands and gravel. Thought to be formed from sediment deposited by a s

Eugeosyncline
The seaward part of a geosyncline

Eustatic Change
Sea level changes that affect the whole Earth.

Eustatic Sea Level Change
A rise or fall in sea level that affects the entire earth. Thought to be caused by an increase/decre

Eutrophication
A superabundance of algal life in a body of water

Evaporation
The process of liquid water becoming water vapor. Includes vaporization from water surfaces, land su

Evaporite
A chemical sediment or sedimentary rock that has formed by precipitation from evaporating waters. Gy

Evapotranspiration
All methods of water moving from a liquid to water vapor in nature. Includes both evaporation and tr

Exfoliation
A physical weathering process in which sheets of rock are fractured and detached from an outcrop.

Exobiology
The study of life outside the Earth.

Expansive Clay (Expansive Soil)
A clay soil that expands when water is added and contracts when it dries out. This volume change whe

Exploration
The work of identifying areas that may contain viable mineral resources. This work can include surfa

Exploratory Drilling
Drilling done to locate mineral deposits in an area where little subsurface data about those mineral

Extinction Angle
The angle between a crystallographic direction, such as a face or cleavage plane, and the direction

Extractive Industries
Industries involved in mineral resource exploration, acquisition, assessment, development or product

Extrusive
Igneous rocks that crystallize at Earth's surface.

Facies
The characteristics of a rock mass that reflect its depositional environment. These characteristics

Farm-Out Arrangement
A contractual agreement in which a mineral rights owner or lessee assigns a working interest to anot

Fault
A planar or gently curved fracture in the Earth's crust across which there has been relative displac

Fault Plane
The plane that best approximates the fracture surface of a fault.

Fault-Block Mountain
A mountain or range formed as a horst when it was elevated between parallel normal faults.

Faunal Succession
A principle of relative dating that is based upon the observed sequence of organisms in the rock rec

Felsic
An adjective used to describe a light-colored igneous rock poor in iron and magnesium content, abund

Fiord
A former glacial valley with steep walls and a U-shaped profile now occupied by the sea.

Fissure
An extensive crack, break, or fracture in the rocks.

Fissure Vein
A cleft or crack in the rock material of the earth's crust, filled with mineral matter different fro

Fjord
A deep, narrow, steep-walled, U-shaped valley that was carved by a glacier and is now occupied by th

Flood
An overflow of water onto lands that are normally above local water levels. Can be caused by stream

Flood Basalt
A sequence of parallel to subparallel basalt flows that were formed during a geologically brief inte

Flood Plain
An area of alluvium-covered, relatively level land along the banks of a stream that is covered with

Flood Stage
A water height that is reached when the discharge of a stream exceeds the capacity of the channel.

Flood Tide
A tidal current that generally moves landward and occurs during the part of the tide cycle when sea

Flow Cleavage
In a metamorphic rock, the parallel arrangement of all planar or linear crystals as a result of rock

Flowing Well
A well that taps an aquifer that is under enough pressure to force water to the surface. Caused when

Fluid Inclusion
A small amount of fluid (liquid and/or gas) trapped within a rock and which is thought to represent