Questions tagged [terminology]

Terminology is the study of terms and their use. Terms are words and compound words that in specific contexts are given specific meanings, meanings that may deviate from the meaning the same words have in other contexts and in everyday language.

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What is the right term to describe the observation that your true bearing changes if you move in a non-cardinal direction on a globe?

I just came across a question on skeptics.SE that asked whether it is possible to sail a boat from the coast of Pakistan to the east coast of Russia in an uninterrupted straight line. A quick glance ...
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Blueberries, cauliflower, chert, concretions, accretions and diagenetic crystal clusters on Mars, can you help me sort these all out?

Curiosity has actually seen these types of features before, which are called diagenetic crystal clusters. Diagenetic means the recombination or rearrangement of minerals, and these features consist of ...
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What characteristics are considered when distinguishing a place based on physiographic provinces?

Wikipedia describes a concept called "physiographic provinces". If I understand right, geologists simply created lines on a map, to create clusters of places that are geologically similar. ...
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Gases descending from atmospheres

Earth’s lower atmosphere is rising due to climate change Temperature is the driving force behind this change, says Jane Liu, an environmental scientist at the University of Toronto. The troposphere ...
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"Down wash" as a source for mineral particles in the soil

In a previous IGCSE examination paper$^1$, the following question was asked and answer provided: State one source of mineral particles in soil. Marking Scheme: Accept any one of: rock; down wash; ...
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Are terms like "Extremely Torrential Rain" (>500 mm/24 hours) universal in meteorology?

Meteorological phenomenon can span large ranges in size and strength and categorizations exist based on thresholds, One example is the Saffir–Simpson hurricane wind scale (SSHWS) (see also NOAA) ...
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What term to geologists use to refer to several rivers constrained to a particular area?

I am studying some maps of prehistoric cultures in North America, noting the relationship between their villages and the rivers they are near. I notice each civilization seems grouped around rivers ...
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To Determine the Geographic center of a continent, is balance point the accepted method and is equivalent to finding the centroid?

This is not exactly a pure Earth Science question but I'm not sure GIS SE is a suitable place either. "The Google" suggested I watch CBS Sunday Morning's The debate over the geographical ...
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Why are there so many "horseshoe lakes", and are they really mostly in the US?

The Wikipedia disambiguation page Horseshoe lake lists 31 of them, of which 27 are in the US. Question: Why are there so many "horseshoe lakes"? Are they usually horseshoe-shaped, (or full ...
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Understanding certain phrases in the article "Footwall topographic development during continental extension"

I am currently attempting to read the article "Footwall topographic development during continental extension". The article and its abstract can be found here. When reading the abstract, I ...
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What does the term "topology" mean in geology?

What does the term "topology" mean in geological sciences? Is there an agreed upon distinction between the two terms "topography" and "topology"? When trying to answer ...
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1 answer
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Is there really precipitation on Mars? Does frost count?

The NASA Goddard science education page answer to Reading about Mars, I noticed that it has .03% of water vapor in it's atmosphere, and my question was if it has water vapor why doesn't it have ...
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Sources or strategies for stone identification

I have a bunch of semi-precious stones here, but I am not very learned in geology etc and I would like to have some way to know what kind of stones they are. As far as I understand question about ...
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2 answers
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Hydro-meteorological hazards vs climate extremes

I always saw the definitions of "hydro-meteorological hazards" and "climate extremes" as almost interchangeable in the climate change and natural hazards literature. The other day I was discussing ...
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Why is mass fraction always abbreviated wt% and not ma%?

In most geology papers, major elements chemical analyses are expressed as mass fraction of oxides, i.e. SiO$_2$ 64.2 wt%, K$_2$O 4.3 wt%, etc. The mass fraction unit is always abbreviated as "wt%". ...
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What is the meaning of the subscript in the abbreviations of some minerals?

I have noticed that in many articles on minerals that I have read the abbreviation of some mineral has a numerical subscript, for example, occurs with the forsterite (Fo95-90, Fo92-84, Fo94, etc.). ...
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Is there a name for a "moving meridian" corresponding to particular solar time?

Imagine a meridian that moves over the Earth's surface such that it remains at the longitude that corresponds to a particular solar time (e.g. midday). This meridian would remain stationary relative ...
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What is it called for the part of a hill where it discontinuously gets steeper?

What is it called for the part of a hill where it discontinuously gets steeper? If you climbing an easy slope and encounter a new steeper slope (such as formed by a rocky hill and accompanying soil ...
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Which particles are classified as PM2.5? How exactly is this defined?

Question When discussing "PM2.5", is there any standardized understanding of which particles are or are not included? Is it everything that's 2.5 microns and smaller? Or Everything between 2....
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Is "Chasm One" the really the name of this feature on the Brunt Ice Shelf?

The BBC News article Antarctic: No role for climate in Halley iceberg splitting says: With no-one on the ice surface, notice of any breakaway will have to come from automated in-situ ...
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Is there the right term for time points in hourly weather forecast?

Each hourly weather forecast has two columns with date and time. The first column: forecast creation date and time (the column (1) in a table below). The second column: forecast hour (the column (2) ...
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What is an isolated land area of one type of rock surrounded by land of a differing rock type called?

For example, if there were a large land area with exposed basalt, in the middle of which is a smaller isolated patch of Granite, what is that isolated patch called? I came across the single-word ...
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Subrelluric forces in a volcanic eruption

I am listening to a song about volcanoes. It is called "Pyroclastic Annihilation" performed by a brutal deth/thrash metal band called "Demolition Hammer". It is from their album "Epidemic of Violence" ...
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1 answer
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How does palingenetic fusion occur in rock?

As far as charnockites are concerned, granitic charnockites are formed due to palingenetic fusion and metasomatism, while granulitic charnockites are formed due to high grade metamorphism. When I ...
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Is there a formally-defined converse of a Prominence Walk?

My question was inspired by this one - in particular, the subtopic of pumping water from the ocean to the below-sea-level basins to deal with rising sea levels (spoiler: it's horribly infeasible and ...
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Longest land path on Afro-Eurasia

Regarding Afro-Eurasia as single continent, I tried to draw longest geodesic line within it and got which is 16628 km (10 332 miles) length. Looks like this line is rather stable and lasts from ...
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Are there other divisions of Earth following beyond hemispheres? [closed]

I know it's a silly question, but it really bothers me since the word hemisphere derives from Greek ημί- (i.e. hemi-) which cannot be further expanded, while the English equivalent semi- can be ...
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3 votes
1 answer
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What is this upside-down transparent funnel-shaped item on a weather monitoring station?

I snapped this photo with my cell phone at a fishing harbor in northern Taiwan. I recognize a weather vane + anemometer, and I suspect the two large, dark things at the tops of poles might be ...
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3 votes
2 answers
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Is the atmosphere a part of Earth?

My question is quite simple, but I can't seem to find any answer to it: how do we define the limit of the object "Earth"? More specifically, can we consider the atmosphere a part of it? Or even the ...
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4 votes
1 answer
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Confused about whether physical impact is 'erosion'

When I dropped a stone or a crystal onto the floor, can it be considered as erosion? What is the difference between rocks breaking due to natural disturbances vs human action? Here is the stone/...
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9 votes
5 answers
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Correct phrase for a 'forgetful' natural system?

This is a rather general question: assume I have a system that has a certain 'forgetful' property, which means that while I can offset its current state for a moment, it will eventually return to its ...
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1 vote
1 answer
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What are the differences between alluvial, eluvial and colluvial deposits? [duplicate]

There's always confusion and disagreement when these terms are mentioned. Need to be sure of their exact meanings.
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6 votes
1 answer
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What separates the Karakoram Range, the Hindu Kush, and the Himalayan Range?

In Google Maps, I don't see any boundary between the Karakoram (a.k.a. Karakorum) Range, the Hindu Kush, and the Himalayan Range. What separates these ranges?
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What is Oligo-Miocene radiation?

Some studies about Earth's fosilized plants/animals mention a "Oligo-Miocene radiation". Examples: Our study therefore strengthens previous suggestions that the absence of very large penguins ...
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Growth of polar vortices vs projective geometry; what does this figure mean?

I was reading the Wikipedia article about a mathematical subject called projective geometry, and I noticed that the second image in the body of the article referred to the "growth of polar vortices". ...
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1 vote
2 answers
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What is it called when water forms to look like a root structure? [closed]

I've tried looking it up on google but I can't find anything. I'm talking about when a small amount of water forms to look like a root hair structure, thin and branching out.
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1 vote
1 answer
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Should Imilac (meteorite) be singular or plural?

I first saw the term "Imilac meteorite" in this BBC News article. It shows a photograph of a meteorite on display along with the caption: The Imilac meteorite was found in the Atacama ...
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How did the terms "acidic" and "basic" come to be associated with $SiO_2$ in igneous rocks?

Students of geology are introduced to in their petrology course, (or used to be), to the terms "acidic", "basic", and the associated term "intermediate" in relation to %$SiО­­­_{2}$ in igneous rocks, ...
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4 votes
2 answers
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"Impression and pseudomorphism" in fossils

In a book on invertebrate paleontology I have (Treatise on Invertebrate Palaeontology, A) there is a diagram showing possible fates of a shell after the death of the organism. One of the possible ...
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MS in Geosciences With Concentration in Environmental Geosciences Degree Outlook

I am considering a MS in Geoscience but am curious with the naming conventions associated within the fields of geology. Is Geoscience similar, or interchangeable with geology? Yes, I would be new to ...
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Is there a name for these "pouring" clouds?

I snapped this photo with my phone flat against the window of a bus, facing south while traveling west across a bridge in New Taipei City. I'd say it was at about 24.995N, 121.438E. It was about 14:00 ...
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If rocks are stones, what type of rock are gallstones? [closed]

From Wikipedia: Rock or stone is a natural substance, a solid aggregate of one or more minerals or mineraloids. For example, granite, a common rock, is a combination of the minerals quartz, ...
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3 votes
1 answer
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Are "rainy season" and "less rainy season" good ways to describe Amazon seasons in English scientific language?

I'm a Brazilian native. Here, the English translation to the most didactic way to express the Amazon seasons are: "rainy season", and "less rainy season", because it always rains a lot, but there is a ...
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10 votes
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Esker vs. Kame vs. Drumlin - what's the difference?

In researching glacial features, I came across the terms esker, drumlin, and kame. I know that they are all depositional features that are shaped like a mound. My impression is that an esker is longer ...
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6 votes
1 answer
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What is meant by controlling and reacting factor?

I'm interested in issues related to Global warming and therefore started to read about it from this website --> Link As I was reading I got stuck in the third paragraph of ...
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1 vote
0 answers
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What is meant by controlling and reacting factor? [duplicate]

I'm interested in issues related to Global warming and therefore started to read about it from this website -->> link As I was reading I got stuck in the third paragraph of ...
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3 votes
2 answers
147 views

What is a breadboard (retrieval) algorithm in the context of geophysical satellite retrievals/remote sensing?

In a recent met-jobs job posting (different version here) for a researcher with a background in climatology/meteorology/hydrology or environmental sciences, I saw the phrase breadboard retrieval ...
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What is the difference between nappe and thrust sheet?

The titles of many geology articles contain words like "nappes and thrust sheets". Basically these are rather similar and in certain languages can be denoted with one term. The dictionaries tend to ...
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What is a "show" in petroleum geology?

Is a show when naturally ocurring oil seeps out of a fracture on the surface? Or is it when engineers fracture rocks in order to extract oil?
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4 votes
1 answer
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The Size Hierarchy of a Landmass

If we judge a hierarchy of a landmass by size, here is what, in my knowledge, it would have looked like, from largest to smallest: Continent Subcontinent ??? Island Islet In regards to size, is ...
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