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


Intermediate Rock
An igneous rock that has an intermediate silica content. Examples are syenite and diorite. Also see

Intermittent Stream
A stream that goes dry at certain times of the year. Intermittent streams flow during seasons of the

Intermontane Basin
A basin between mountain ranges, often formed over a graben.

Intrusion
A igneous rock body that formed from magma that forced its way into, through or between subsurface r

Intrusive
Igneous rocks that crystallize below Earth's surface.

Intrusive Rock
Igneous rock that is interpreted as a former intrusion from its cross-cutting contacts, chilled marg

Ion
An atom or group of atoms that have gained or lost one or more electron and as a result has an elect

Ionic Bond
A bond formed between atoms by electrostatic attraction between oppositely charged ions.

Iron Formation
A layered deposit of chemical sedimentary rocks containing at least 15 percent (by weight) iron in t

Iron Ore
A chemical sedimentary rock that forms when iron and oxygen (and sometimes other substances) combine

Isograd
A line on a map that represents a specific degree of metamorphism. Rocks on one side of the line hav

Isostasy
A condition of gravitational balance (similar to floating) in which a mass of lighter crustal rocks

Isotope
One of several forms of one element, all having the same number of protons in the nucleus, but diffe

Isotope Geology
The study of the relative abundances of isotopes in rocks to determine their ages (see geo-chronolog

Isotropic Substance
One in which the magnitude of a physical property, such as transmission of light is independent of c

Jade
A translucent gemstone consisting of either jadeite or nephrite that is typically green in color. Ja

Jadeite
A high pressure clinopyroxene that is frequently carved and polished as a gemstone.

Jasper
A variety of colored chert, typically red or green and often found in association with iron ores. Ja

Jet
A variety of coal that is frequently cut and polished for jewelry or ornaments.

Jetty
A human made structure built at right angles to a coastline and extending into the water. Jetties ar

Joint
A large and relatively planar fracture in a rock across which there is no relative displacement of t

Joint Set
A group of joints that are parallel or nearly parallel. They are frequently formed at the same time

Jolly Balance
A spring balance used in the determination of specific gravity.

Juvenile Gas
Gases that come to the surface for the first time from the deep interior.

Juvenile Water
Water that is new to the hydrologic cycle. Brought to Earth's surface through volcanic eruptions.

Karst
A landscape that is characterized by the features of solution weathering and erosion in the subsurfa

Kerogen
A mixture of organic substances found in many fine-grained sedimentary rocks and a major constituent

Kettle
A small hollow or depression formed in glacial deposits when outwash was deposited around a residual

Kettle Lake
A lake that forms in a kettle.

Kilobar
A unit of pressure equal to 1000 bars (the mean atmospheric pressure at 100 meters above sea level i

Kimberlite
A variety of peridotite that is found in volcanic pipes which are thought to be intrusions from the

Knickpoint
An abrupt change in slope. A point on a stream profile where a change in gradient occurs. This could

Knob
A small hilltop that is round in shape.

Laccolith
An igneous intrusion that has been forced between two layered rock units. The top of the intrusion i

Lahar
A mudflow composed of water and volcanic ash. Lahars can be triggered by the flash melting of the sn

Laminar Flow
A state of uniform flow within a fluid in which the moving particles travel along parallel paths (co

Landslide
The rapid downslope movement of soil and rock material, often lubricated by groundwater, over a basa

Lapilli
Volcanic rock materials which are formed when magma is ejected by a volcano. Typically used for mate

Lateral Moraine
A moraine formed along the side of a valley glacier and composed of rock scraped off or fallen from

Lava
Magma or molten rock that has reached the surface.

Lava Tube
A tunnel below the surface of a solidified lava flow, formed when the exterior portions of the flow

Leaching
The removal of soluble constituents from a rock or soil by moving ground water or hydrothermal fluid

Lease Bonus
Money paid to a mineral rights owner in exchange for granting a lease. This payment may be in additi

Left-Lateral Fault
A fault with horizontal movement. If you are standing on one side of the fault and look across it th

Levee
A long continuous ridge built by people along the banks of a stream to contain the water during time

Limb
One side of a fold. The dipping rock units between the crest of an anticline and the trough of a syn

Limb (Fold)
The relatively planar part of a fold or of two adjacent folds (for example, the steeply dipping part

Limestone
A sedimentary rock consisting of at least 50% calcium carbonate (CaCO2) by weight. Picture of Limest

Lineament
A straight topographic feature of regional extent which is thought to represent crustal structure. A

Lineation
Any linear arrangement of features found in a rock.

Liquefied Natural Gas (Lng)
Natural gas that has been converted to the liquid state by reducing its temperature. (At standard su

Lithification
The processes through which sediments are converted into sedimentary rock, including compaction and

Lithology
The study and description of rocks, including their mineral composition and texture. Also used in re

Lithosphere
The outer, rigid shell of the Earth, situated above the asthenosphere and containing the crust, cont

Lithospheric Plate
A large slab of the lithosphere that can be moved by convection current motion within the mantle.

Load
The total amount of sediment being carried by a stream or a glacier. Includes suspended materials, d

Lode
A rich accumulation of minerals in solid rock. Frequently in the form of a vein, layer or an area wi

Longitudinal Dune
A long, narrow sand dune that has its long dimension oriented parallel to the direction of the wind.

Longitudinal Profile
A cross section of a stream or valley beginning at the source and continuing to the mouth. These pro

Longshore Current
A current that moves parallel to a shore and is formed from the momentum of breaking waves that appr

Longshore Drift
The movement of sediment along a coastline caused by waves striking the coast at an oblique angle. T

Lopolith
A large laccolith that is bowl-shaped and depressed in the center, possibly by subsidence of an empt

Low-Velocity Zone
A zone within the upper mantle where seismic wave velocities are relatively low. This zone is locate

Lowland
A relatively flat area in the lower levels of regional elevation.

Luster
The general textural impression of a mineral surface, given by the light reflected from it. Terms su

Maar Volcano
A volcanic crater without a cone, believed to have been formed by an explosive eruption of trapped g

Mafic
A term used to describe an igneous rock that has a large percentage of dark-colored minerals such as

Mafic Mineral
A dark-colored mineral rich in iron and magnesium, especially a pyroxene, amphibole, or olivine.

Magma
Molten rock material that forms igneous rocks upon cooling. Magma that reaches the surface is referr

Magma Chamber
A full or emptied magma reservoir in the shallow portion of the lithosphere.

Magmatic Water
Water that is dissolved in a magma or water that is released from a magma. Some magmas can contain u

Magnetic Anomaly
The value of the local magnetic field remaining after the subtraction of the dipole portion of the E

Magnetic Coupling
The transfer of momentum between celestial bodies, especially dust and gas clouds, through magnetic

Magnetic Declination
The horizontal angular difference between True North and Magnetic North.

Magnetic Inclination
The vertical angular difference between a horizontal plane and the orientation of Earth's magnetic f

Magnetic North
The direction that a compass points. The location where Earth's magnetic field dips vertically into

Magnetic North Pole
(1) The point where the Earth's surface intersects the axis of the dipole that best approximates the

Magnetic Reversal
A change in the polarity of Earth's magnetic field in which the north magnetic pole becomes the sout

Magnetic Stratigraphy
The study and correlation of polarity epochs and events in the history of the Earth's magnetic field

Magnetometer
An instrument for measuring either one orthogonal component or the entire intensity of the Earth's m

Magnitude
A measure of earthquake size, determined by taking the common logarithm base 10) of the largest grou

Manganese Nodule
A rounded concretion, rich in manganese minerals with minor concentrations of cobalt, copper and nic

Mantle
The main bulk of the Earth, between the crust and core, ranging from depths of about 40 to 3480 kilo

Mantle Plume
A rising mass of hot mantle material that can create an area of volcanic activity in the center of a

Marble
A non-foliated metamorphic rock that is produced from the metamorphism of limestone. It is composed

Mass Movement
A downhill movement of soil or fractured rock under the force of gravity.

Mass Spectrometer
An instrument for separating ions of different mass but equal charge (mainly isotopes in geology) an

Mass Wasting
A general term used for any downslope movement of rock, soil, snow or ice under the influence of gra

Massive
A term used in reference to a rock unit that is homogeneous in texture, fabric and appearance.

Massive Rock
A rock that is little or not at all broken by joints, cracks, foliation, or bedding, tending to pres

Maturity
A stage in the geomorphic cycle in which maximum relief and well-developed drainage are both present

Meander
Broad, semicircular curves in a stream that develop as the stream erodes the outer bank of a curve a

Meandering Stream
A stream that has many bends (meanders). This type of drainage pattern usually develops on a nearly

Mechanical Weathering
A general term applied to a variety of weathering processes that result in the particle size reducti

Medial Moraine
A streak of till in the center of a glacier. These are found downslope from the junction of two glac

Medical Geology
The study of human health related to geology. Examples would include the correlation of disease or v

Metamorphism
The changes of mineralogy and texture imposed on a rock by pressure and temperature in the Earth's i

Meteor
A meteoroid that penetrates Earth's atmosphere, producing a streak of bright light caused by inciner

Meteoric Water
Water from the atmosphere, such as rain, snow, hail, or sleet.

Meteorite
A stony or metallic object from inter-planetary space that penetrates the atmosphere to impact on th