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


Meteoroid
A particle of iron or rock found in inter-planetary space. Distinguished from planets or asteroids b

Micrometeorite
A meteorite less than 1 millimeter in diameter.

Microseism
A weak vibration of the ground that can be detected by seismographs and which is caused by waves, wi

Migmatite
A rock with both igneous and metamorphic characteristics that shows large crystals and laminar flow

Milling
The activities of preparing an ore for market. This can include

Milling Capacity
The maximum amount of material that a mill can produce in a unit of time.

Mineral
A naturally occurring element or compound with a precise chemical formula and a regular internal lat

Mineral Interest
An ownership, lease, concession, or other contractual interest that gives a party the right to explo

Mineral Lease
A contract in which a mineral interest owner conveys to another party a right to explore for, develo

Mineralogy
The study of minerals - their composition, structure, formation, uses, properties, occurrence and ge

Miogeosyncline
A Geosyncline that is situated near a craton and receives chemical and well-sorted elastic sediments

Mohorovic Discontinuity
The boundary between crust and mantle, marked by a rapid increase in seismic wave velocity to more t

Mohs Hardness Scale
A collection of minerals ranging from very soft to very hard. Use as a comparison scale during miner

Mohs Scale Of Hardness
An empirical, ascending scale of mineral hardness with talc as 1, gypsum 2, calcite 3, fluorite 4, a

Monadnock
An isolated hill or mountain rising above a peneplain.

Monocline
The S-shaped fold connecting two horizontal parts of the same stratum at different elevations. Its c

Moraine
A glacial deposit of till left at the margin of an ice sheet. See specifically by name, ground morai

Mountain
A general term used in reference to an area that is at a conspicuously higher elevation than surroun

Mudflow
A type of mass movement composed mainly of clay-size materials with a high enough water content that

Mudstone
A sedimentary rock composed of clay-size particles but lacking the stratified structure that is char

Multiple Completion Well
A well equipped to produce oil and/or gas from more than one reservoir.

Mylonite
A brecciated metamorphic rock frequently found in a fault zone. The fractured texture is thought to

Nannofossils
A generic term used in reference to very small fossils that are at the limit of resolution by a ligh

Nappe
A large slab of earth's surface that has been moved in a horizontal or near horizontal direction ove

Native Metal
A natural deposit of a metallic element in pure metallic form, neither oxidized nor combined with su

Natural Bridge
An arch-shaped rock formation produced by weathering and/or erosion.

Natural Gas
Naturally occurring hydrocarbons that exist in subsurface rock units in the gaseous state. Methane i

Natural Levee
A mound of sediment that parallels a stream channel forming a levee-like deposit. When flood waters

Natural Reservoir Pressure
The pressure within an oil or gas reservoir that forces oil or gas up the well bore when the reservo

Neap Tide
A tide cycle of unusually small amplitude, which occurs twice monthly when the lunar and solar tides

Neap Tide
A daily tidal range of minimal amplitude that occurs when the moon and sun are positioned at 90 degr

Nebula
An immense, diffuse body of interstellar gas and dust that has not condensed into a star.

Nebular Hypothesis
A theory of the formation of the planets that states that a rotating nebula contracted and was then

Neutron
A subatomic particle, contained in the nucleus of an atom. It has no electrical charge and a mass si

Neutron-Activation Analysis
A method of identifying isotopes of an element by bombarding them with neutrons and observing the ch

Nodule
A mineral mass that has a different composition or is more weathering resistant than its surrounding

Non-Operating Interest
A mineral lease interest that does not involve the rights and responsibilities of exploration, devel

Non-Point Source Pollution
Pollution that does not originate at a single location. In an urban area runoff water can be pollute

Non-Producing
A term that refers to a property, a well or a mine from which commercial amounts of a mineral resour

Normal Fault
A fault with vertical movement and an inclined fault plane. The block above the fault has moved down

Nuclear Fuel
Fissionable materials that are rich enough to sustain a fission chain reaction.

Nuclear Reactor
A facility where a nuclear fission chain reaction can be initiated, controlled, and sustained.

Oblique-Slip Fault
A fault that combines some strike slip motion with some dip-slip motion.

Obsidian
A glassy igneous rock with a composition similar to granite. The glassy texture is a result of cooli

Octahedral Coordination
The packing of six ions around an ion of opposite charge to form an octahedron.

Offshore
The geographic area that is seaward of a coastline.

Oil Field
An underground accumulation of oil and gas concentrated beneath an impermeable trap, preventing its

Oil Shale
A dark-colored shale containing an unusual amount of solid organic material known as kerogen. This s

Old Age
A stage in the development of a landscape when streams have a low gradient and meander back and fort

Oolite
A small sphere of calcium carbonate no more than a few millimeters in diameter and with a concentric

Oolitic
A limestone texture that is characterized by spherical grains of calcium carbonate with a concentric

Opaque
An adjective used in reference to a substance that does not allow light of visible wavelength to ent

Opaque Mineral
A mineral which transmits no light through a thin section under a microscope. Usually a native metal

Ophiolite Suite
The typical sequence of rocks in the oceanic crust from bottom to top

Orbit
An elliptical or hyperbolic path traveled by a satellite object around a more massive body. For exam

Ore
A natural deposit in which a valuable metallic element occurs in high enough concentration to make m

Ore Deposit
A natural accumulation of a metal, gemstone or other valuable mineral substance, which is rich enoug

Ore Mineral
A mineral that contains a high enough concentration of a useful element or compound that the element

Original Horizontality
One of the principles of relative dating. Based upon the good assumption that sedimentary rocks are

Orogenic Belt
A linear region, often a former geo-syncline, that has been subjected to folding, and other deformat

Orogeny
The tectonic process in which large areas are folded, thrust-faulted, metamorphosed, and subjected t

Oscillation Ripple
A ripple with a symmetrical cross section and a sharp peak formed by waves.

Oscillation Ripple Marks
Symmetrical ridges in sand or other sediment that are caused by a back-and-forth wave action.

Outcrop
An exposure of bedrock. Outcrops can be formed naturally or by human action. Stream erosion and high

Outfall
A location where water is discharged. Normally used in reference to where a water treatment facility

Outgassing
The release of juvenile gases and water to the surface from a magma source.

Outwash
A glaciofluvial sediment that is deposited by meltwater streams emanating from a glacier.

Overturned Fold
A fold that has both limbs dipping in the same direction, resulting from one of those limbs being ro

Oxbow Lake
A long, broad, crescent-shaped lake formed when a stream abandons a meander and takes a new course.

Oxidation
A chemical reaction in which substances combine with oxygen. For example, the combination of iron wi

Oxidized Element
An element occurring in the more positively charged of two common ionic forms.

Pahoehoe
A Hawaiian term for a lava flow that has a surface flow structure appearance that looks like coiled

Paleoclimate
The climate of a given area at a specific time in the past. Paleoclimates can be read from the rocks

Paleocurrent Map
A map that shows the directions of currents at the time of sediment deposition. These directions can

Paleogeographic Map
A map that shows the distribution of sedimentary environments at a specific time in the past. These

Paleomagnetism
The study of Earth's magnetic field over time. When rocks that contain magnetic minerals are deposit

Paleontology
The science of fossils, of ancient life-forms, and their evolution.

Paleowind
A prevailing wind direction in an area, inferred from dune structure or the distribution of volcanic

Pangaea
A large continental landmass that existed from about 300 million years ago through about 200 million

Panthalassa
A hypothetical primeval ocean covering two-thirds of the world except for the continent of Pangaea.

Parent Element
A radioactive element that spontaneously decays into a new substance. The product of this decay is k

Peak Flow
The maximum instantaneous discharge of a stream at a specific location. Corresponds to the highest s

Peat
An accumulation of unconsolidated plant debris that if buried and preserved could become coal. Speci

Pedalfer
A common soil type in humid regions, characterized by an abundance of iron oxides and clay minerals

Pediment
A broad, gently sloping erosional surface of low local relief adjacent to an eroding cliff or mounta

Pedocal
A common soil type of arid regions, characterized by accumulation of calcium carbonate in the A-hori

Pegmatite
A very coarse grained igneous rock, normally of granitic composition. Typically forms during the fin

Pelagic Sediment
A ocean sediment that accumulates far enough from land that detrital materials are a minor component

Peneplain
A hypothetical extensive area of low elevation and relief reduced to near sea level by a long period

Perched Groundwater
An isolated body of ground-water that is perched above and separated from the main water table by an

Perched Water Table
A water table that is isolated from and higher than the regional water table. This can occur when a

Peridotite
A dark-colored, coarse-grained igneous rock that is made up mainly of olivine and pyroxene, with ver

Permeability
A measure of how well a material can transmit water. Materials such as gravel, that transmit water q

Petrochemicals
Organic and inorganic compounds and mixtures that are derived from petroleum. These include

Petroleum
A group of liquid hydrocarbons that includes

Ph
A relative measure of the acidity or alkalinity of a water based upon a scale that ranges between 0

Phreatomagmatic
An explosive volcanic eruption initiated by the interaction of magma and water (usually either meteo

Phyllite
A foliate metamorphic rock that is made up mainly of very fine-grained mica. The surface of phyllite

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

Placer Deposit
A mass of stream sediment that contains an economically significant concentration of mineral particl