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


Short Ton
A unit of weight that equals 2,000 pounds.

Shut In
A well that is capable of production but which is temporarily closed for repair, cleaning or inacces

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

Siltstone
A clastic sedimentary rock that forms from silt-size (between 1/256 and 1/16 millimeter diameter) we

Sinkhole
A depression in the land surface that results from the collapse or slow settlement of underground vo

Slate
A foliated metamorphic rock that is formed through the metamorphism of shale. It is a low grade meta

Solution
A chemical weathering process in which a material is dissolved. Also, the transport of dissolved ion

Storm Sewer
A sewer system that collects surface runoff instead of waste water. These two types of water are kep

Storm Surge
The piling up of water along a shoreline cause by the sustained winds of a strong storm - usually a

Strain
A change in the volume or shape of a rock mass in response to stress.

Stratification
A layered structure of sedimentary rocks in which the individual layers can be traced a considerable

Stratigraphic Sequence
The sequence of sedimentary rock layers found in a specific geographic area, arranged in the order o

Stratigraphy
The science of the description, correlation, and classification of strata in sedimentary rocks, incl

Stratovolcano
A volcanic cone made up of alternating layers of lava flows and pyroclastics. Also known as a compos

Streak
The color of a mineral in powdered form. Streak is normally determined by scraping a specimen across

Streak Plate
A piece of unglazed porcelain that is used for determining the streak of a mineral specimen.

Stream Order
A classification system that represents the relative position of streams in a drainage basin. The hi

Streaming Flow
A tranquil flow slower than shooting flow.

Streamline
A curved line representing the successive positions of a particle in a flow as time passes.

Stress
A force acting upon or within a mass or rock, expressed in terms of unit weight per surface area suc

Striations
Scratches or grooves on a rock or sediment surface caused by abrasive action of objects being transp

Strike
The angle between true North and the horizontal line contained in any planar feature (inclined bed,

Strike-Slip Fault
A fault with horizontal displacement, typically caused by shear stress.

Stromatolite
A fossil form representing the growth habit of an algal mat

Strombolian Eruption
A type of volcanic eruption characterized by fountains of lava jetting from a lava-filled central cr

Subduction Zone
An area at a convergent plate boundary where an oceanic plate is being forced down into the mantle b

Sublimation
The process through which ice goes directly into a vapor without passing through the liquid state.

Submarine Canyon
An underwater canyon, carved into the continental shelf. These can be carved by turbidity currents o

Subsidence
A lowering of the land surface in response to subsurface weathering, collapse or slow settlement of

Supercontinent
A large landmass that forms from the convergence of multiple continents.

Superposed Stream
A stream that cuts across resistant bedrock units. This can occur when the stream's course was deter

Superposition
The concept that the oldest rock layers are at the bottom of a sequence with younger rock layers dep

Supersaturated Solution
A solution that contains more solute than its solubility allows. Such a solution is unstable and pre

Supersaturation
The unstable state of a solution that contains more solute than its solubility allows.

Surf
The breaking or tumbling forward of water waves as they approach the shore.

Surf Zone
An area of breaking waves bounded by the point of first breakers, then landward to the maximum uprus

Surface Wave
A type of seismic wave that travels along Earth's surface.

Suspended Load
The fine sediment kept suspended in a stream because the settling velocity is lower than the upward

Suspension
Transport of sediment by wind or water currents that are strong enough to keep the sediment particle

Swash
The landward rush of water from a breaking wave up the slope of the beach.

Swell
An oceanic water wave with a wavelength on the order of 30 meters or more and a height of perhaps 2

Symbiosis
A relationship between two species who live in close association but do not compete with each other

Syncline
A large fold whose limbs are higher than its center

System
A stratigraphic unit of major significance which was deposited during a specific time period, and wh

System (Stratigraphy)
A stratigraphic unit larger than a series, consisting of all the rocks deposited in one period of an

Tableland
A large elevated region with a relatively low relief surface.

Talus
An accumulation of angular rock debris at the base of a cliff or steep slope that was produced by ph

Tar Sand
A sandstone containing the densest asphaltic components of petroleum - the end-product of evaporatio

Tectonics
The study of the movements and deformation of the crust on a large scale, including epeirogeny, meta

Terminal Moraine
A sinuous ridge of unsorted glacial till deposited by a glacier at the line of its farthest advance.

Terrestrial Planet
One of the four rocky planets closest to the sun, which include Mars, Venus, Earth and Mercury.

Terrestrial Sediment
A deposit of sediment that accumulated above sea level in lakes, alluvial fans, floodplains, moraine

Terrigenous Sediment
Sediment that is derived from the weathering of rocks which are exposed above sea level.

Texture
The visible characteristics of a rock which include its grain size, grain orientation, rounding, ang

Texture (Rock)
The rock characteristics of grain or crystal size, size variability, rounding or angularity, and pre

Thalweg
A sinuous imaginary line following the deepest part of a stream.

Thermal Conductivity
A measure of a rock's capacity for heat conduction.

Thermal Expansion
The property of increasing in volume as a result of an increase in internal temperature.

Thermal Pollution
Water quality is not defined by chemistry alone. If natural waters are withdrawn for use they should

Thermonuclear Reaction
A reaction in which atomic nuclei fuse into new elements with a large release of heat

Thermoremnent Magnetization
A permanent magnetization acquired by igneous rocks in the presence of the Earth's magnetic field as

Thrust Fault
A dip-slip fault in which the upper block above the fault plane moves up and over the lower block, s

Tidal Current
A horizontal displacement of ocean water under the gravitational influence of Sun and Moon, causing

Tidal Flat
A broad flat area, very close to sea level that is flooded and drained with each rise and fall of th

Tidal Wave
A term that is incorrectly used in reference to a tsunami. Tsunamis have nothing to do with the tide

Till
An unconsolidated sediment containing all sizes of fragments from clay to boulders deposited by glac

Time Scale
The division of geologic history into eras, periods, and epochs accomplished through stratigraphy an

Topographic Map
A map that shows the change in elevation over a geographic area through the use of contour lines. Th

Topography
The shape of the Earth's surface, above and below sea level

Topset Bed
A horizontal sedimentary bed formed at the top of a delta and overlying the foreset beds.

Trace Element
An element that appears in minerals in a concentration of less than l percent (often less than 0.001

Trachyte
A fine-grained volcanic rock that contains large amounts of potassium feldspar.

Traction
Transport of sediment by wind or water in which the sediment remains in contact with the ground or b

Transform Fault
A strike-slip fault connecting the ends of an offset in a mid-ocean ridge. Some pairs of plates slid

Transgression
A rise in sea level relative to the land which causes areas to be submerged and marine deposition to

Transition Element
Elements of atomic number 21 to 29, 38 to 46, and 71 to 78, whose second outermost electron shell is

Transmission Pipeline
A pipeline that carries natural gas from a region where it is produced to a region where it is store

Transpiration
The removal of water from the ground into plants, ultimately to be evaporated into the atmosphere by

Transverse Dune
A dune that has its axis transverse to the prevailing winds or to a current. The upwind or upcurrent

Trap
A sedimentary or tectonic structure where oil and/or natural gas has accumulated. These are structur

Trap (Oil)
A sedimentary or tectonic structure that impedes the upward movement of oil and gas and allows it to

Travel-Time Curve
A curve on a graph of travel time versus distance for the arrival of seismic waves from distant even

Travertine
Calcium carbonate deposits which form in caves and around hot springs where carbonate-bearing waters

Trellis Drainage
A drainage pattern in which streams intersect at right angles. This forms in areas of long parallel

Trench
A long and narrow deep trough in the sea floor

Trench
A long, narrow, deep depression in the ocean floor that parallels a convergent boundary involving at

Triple Junction
A point that is common to three plates and which must also be the meeting place of three boundary fe

Tsunami
A large sea wave normally produced by sudden movement of the ocean floor caused by an earthquake or

Tuff
A consolidated rock composed of pyroclastic fragments and fine ash. If particles are melted slightly

Turbidite
A vertical sequence of sediments deposited by a turbidity current. Because the largest particles of

Turbidity Current
A mixture of sediment particles and water that flows down the continental slope. These high density

Turbulent Flow
An irregular state of fluid flow in which the particle paths cross one another and may even travel i

Ultrabasic Rock
An igneous rock with a very low silica content and rich in minerals such as hypersthene, augite and

Ultramafic Rock
An igneous rock consisting dominantly of mafic minerals, containing less than 10 percent feldspar. I

Unconformity
A surface that separates two strata. It represents an interval of time in which deposition stopped,

Unconsolidated
A term used when referring to sediment that has not been lithified into a rock. Uncemented.

Unconsolidated Material
Nonlithified sediment that has no mineral cement or matrix binding its grains.

Uniformitarianism
A basic geologic principle. Processes that act upon the Earth today are the same processes that have

Unit Cell
The smallest sample of a substance that has a complete representation of its atomic structure. A cry

Uplift
A structurally high area in Earth's crust. Formed by movements that bend the crust into a structure