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


Flume
A laboratory model of stream flow and sedimentation consisting of a rectangular channel filled with

Focus
A point beneath Earth's surface where the vibrations of an earthquake are thought to have originated

Focus (Earthquake)
The point at which the rupture occurs

Fold
A planar feature, such as a bedding plane, that has been strongly warped, presumably by deformation.

Foliation
The planar or layered characteristics of metamorphic rocks that are evidence of the pressures and/or

Foraminifer
A group of single-celled organisms, mostly marine, that produce a calcium carbonate shell. Their she

Foraminifera
A class of oceanic protozoa most of which have shells composed of calcite.

Foraminiferal Ooze
A calcareous sediment composed of the shells of dead Foraminifera.

Foreign Operations
Activities located outside of the United States, its offshore territorial waters, commonwealth terri

Formation
The basic unit for the naming of rocks in stratigraphy

Forset Bed
One of the inclined beds found in crossbedding

Forset Beds
The distinctly dipping sediment layers deposited on the front of a prograding delta or on the lee si

Fossil
Remains, imprints or traces of an ancient organism that have been preserved in the rock record. Bone

Fossil Fuel
A general term for combustible geologic deposits of carbon in reduced (organic) form and of biologic

Free Oscillation
The ringing or periodic deformation of the whole Earth at characteristic low frequencies after a maj

Friction Breccia
A breccia formed in a fault zone or volcanic pipe by the relative motion of two rock bodies.

Fringing Reef
A coral reef that is directly attached to a landmass not made of coral.

Fumarole
A small vent in the ground from which volcanic gases and heated groundwater emerge, but not lava.

Gabbro
A black, coarse-grained intrusive igneous rock that is the compositional equivalent of basalt. Compo

Gage Height
A measured height of water above a reference datum. Frequently used to describe the height of water

Gaging Station
A facility on a stream, lake, canal, reservoir or other water body where instruments are installed t

Gas Field
The geographic area that is directly above an underground accumulation of natural gas that is commer

Gathering Pipeline
A pipeline that carries natural gas between a production well and a main transmission line.

Gathering System
A network of small pipelines that connect producing wells to the main transmission system.

Geochronology
The science of absolute dating and relative dating of geologic formations and events, primarily thro

Geologic Cycle
The sequence through which rock material passes in going from its sedimentary form, through diastrop

Geomorphic Cycle
An idealized model of erosion wherein a plain is uplifted epeirogenically, then dissected by rapid s

Geomorphology
The science of Earth's landforms, their description, classification, distribution, origin and signif

Geosyncline
A major downwarp in the Earth's crust, usually more than 1000 kilometers in length, in which sedimen

Geotherm
A curving surface within Earth along which the temperature is constant.

Geothermal Gradient
The progressive increase of temperature with depth into the Earth.

Geyser
A hot spring that intermittently erupts a spray of steam and hot water. Caused by the heating of gro

Glacial Rebound
Epeirogenic uplift of the crust that takes place after the retreat of a continental glacier, in resp

Glacial Striations
Grooves and scratches on a bedrock surface that were produced by the movement of a glacier. The orie

Glacial Valley
A valley occupied or formerly occupied by a glacier, typically with a U-shaped profile.

Glacier
A thick mass of ice that forms on land from an accumulation and recrystallization of snow significan

Glacier Surge
A period of unusually rapid movement of one glacier, sometimes lasting more than a year.

Glass
An amorphous (without crystal structure) igneous rock that forms from very rapid cooling of magma. T

Glassiness
The content of extent of glass in an igneous rock.

Gneiss
A coarse-grained, foliated rock produced by regional metamorphism. The mineral grains within gneiss

Graben
A downthrown block between two normal faults of parallel strike but converging dips

Graded Bedding
A rock layer that has a progressive change in particle size from top to bottom. Most common is a seq

Graded Stream
A stream whose smooth profile is unbroken by resistant ledges, lakes, or waterfalls, and which maint

Granite
A coarse-grained, intrusive igneous rock composed primarily of light colored minerals such as quartz

Granitization
The formation of metamorphic granite from other rocks by recrystallization with or without complete

Granular Snow
Snow that has been metamorphosed into small granules of ice.

Granulite
A metamorphic rock with coarse interlocking grains and little or no foliation.

Gravel
The coarsest of alluvial sediments, containing mostly particles larger than 2 mm in size and includi

Gravity Anomaly
The value of gravity left after subtracting from a gravity measurement the reference value based on

Gravity Survey
The measurement of gravity at regularly spaced grid points with repetitions to control instrument dr

Greenhouse Effect
A warming of the atmosphere caused by carbon dioxide and water vapor in the lower portions of the at

Greenschist
A metamorphic schist containing chlorite and epidote (which are green) and formed by low-temperature

Ground Moraine
A glacial deposit of till with no marked relief, interpreted as having been transported at the base

Ground Water
Water that exists below the water table in the zone of saturation. Ground water moves slowly in the

Ground Water Recharge Area
A location where surface water or precipitation can infiltrate into the ground and replenish the wat

Groundwater
The mass of water in the ground below the phreatic zone, occupying the total pore space in the rock

Gully
A small steep-sided valley or erosional channel from 1 meter to about 10 meters across.

Guyot
A flat-topped submerged mountain or seamount found in the ocean.

Gyre
The circular rotation of the waters of each major sea, driven by prevailing winds and the Coriolis e

Half-Life
The time required for half of a homogeneous sample of radioactive material to decay.

Halite
The mineral name for 'rock salt'. A chemical sedimentary rock that forms from the evaporation of oce

Hanging Valley
A tributary to a U-shaped glacial valley which, instead of entering the valley at the same level as

Hard Water
Water that has a significant amount of dissolved calcium and magnesium ions. This water performs poo

Headwater(S)
The upper portions of a drainage basin where the tributaries of a stream first begin flow.

Heat Conduction
The transfer of the rapid vibrational energy of atoms and molecules, which constitutes heat energy,

Heat Engine
A device that transfers heat from a place of high temperature to a place of lower temperature and do

Heat Flow
The movement of heat energy from the core of the Earth towards the surface.

Hematite
An iron oxide mineral that is commonly used as an ore of iron. Picture of Hematite.

Hill
A natural land elevation, usually less than 1000 feet above its surroundings, with a rounded outline

Hogback
A formation similar to a Cuesta in that it is a ridge formed by slower erosion of hard strata, but h

Hookes Law
The principle that the stress within a solid is proportional to the strain. It holds only for strain

Hornfels
A high-temperature, low-pressure metamorphic rock of uniform grain size showing no foliation. Usuall

Horst
An elongated block of high topographic relief that is bounded on two sides by steep normal faults. P

Hot Spot
A volcanic center located within a lithospheric plate that is thought to be caused by a plume of hot

Hot Spring
A spring whose waters are above both human body and soil temperature as a result of plutonism at dep

Humus
The dark portion of a soil that consists of organic material that is well enough decayed that the or

Hydration
A chemical reaction, usually in weathering, which adds water or OH to a mineral structure.

Hydraulic Conductivity
A measure of the permeability of a rock or soil

Hydrocarbon
Any organic chemical compound (gaseous, liquid or solid) that is composed of carbon and hydrogen. Th

Hydroelectric Power
The production of electrical energy through the use of flowing or falling water.

Hydrograph
A graph that shows the change of a water-related variable over time. Example

Hydrologic Cycle
The natural cycling of Earth's water between the atmosphere, surface and subsurface through the proc

Hydrology
The science of that part of the hydrologic cycle between rain and return to the sea

Hydrolysis
A chemical reaction involving water that results in the breakdown of mineral material.

Hydrothermal
Pertaining to hot water, the actions of hot water or the products produced by the actions of hot wat

Hydrothermal Activity
Any process involving high-temperature groundwaters, especially the alteration and emplacement of mi

Hydrothermal Deposits
Mineral deposits that are formed by the actions of hot water or gases associated with a magmatic sou

Hydrothermal Metamorphism
Alteration of rock by hot waters or gases associated with a magmatic source.

Hydrothermal Vein
A deposit of minerals precipitated in a fracture by the actions of hot water or gases associated wit

Hypocenter
A point beneath earth's surface where the vibrations of an earthquake are thought to have originated

Hypsometric Diagram
A graph that shows in any way the relative amounts of the Earth's surface at different elevations wi

Igneous Rock
A rock formed by the crystallization of magma or lava. Pictures of Igneous Rocks

Ignimbrite
An igneous rock formed by the lithification of ash flow or pyroclastic flow deposits.

Impermeable Layer
A layer of rock, sediment or soil that does not allow water to pass through. This could be caused by

Inclination
The angle between a line in the Earth's magnetic field and the horizontal plane

Index Of Refraction
The ratio of the speed of light in a vacuum to the speed in a material

Infiltration
The movement of groundwater or hydrothermal water into rock or soil through joints and pores.

Injection Well
A well that is used to force a fluid into the ground. The injection could be done for disposal or to

Interfacial Angle
The angle between two crystal faces of a crystal, characteristic of a mineral's symmetry.

Interior Drainage
A system of streams that converge in a closed basin and evaporate without reaching the sea.