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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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4 votes
2 answers
266 views

"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 ...
9 votes
4 answers
998 views

What do you call boulders of non sedimentary rock that were lithified into sandstone?

I'm convinced there is a word for this. I was in the Hoodoos at Writing on Stone this weekend and kept noticing what looked like reddish quartzite boulders laying around in the sand, or sometimes ...
30 votes
3 answers
5k views

Equinoxes and solstices: start of the season or mid-season?

In the United States, the upcoming autumnal equinox is marked on most calendars as the "first day of autumn." Similarly the solstices are commonly called the "first day of summer" and "first day of ...
3 votes
1 answer
123 views

Is there a term for part of a country separated from the rest in general

I mean a part of a country that can't be reach from the rest without leaving the country or it's territorial water. I don't know if exclave really covers what I'm thinking of. For example would the ...
1 vote
0 answers
31 views

Source of an adage about geologists and their various interpreatations of outcrops

I once heard (read? I can't remember) an adage which stated something like this (my recall): Show an outcrop to X geologists, you'll end up with X different interpretations about its formation. (I ...
3 votes
1 answer
56 views

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 ...
3 votes
1 answer
137 views

Oxbow lake, but not completely cut off from the river

When a meander of a river is completely cut off from the river, yet still contains water, it is called an oxbow lake. What if the meander is cut off only at the "exit", but the "...
5 votes
1 answer
168 views

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 ...
1 vote
0 answers
29 views

Naming dimensions of a chunk of earth [closed]

Norway would fit in a bounding box of 500x1600x3 km, where 500 km is east-west, 1600 is north-south, and 3 km is up-down. What do you call these dimensions? When speaking about furniture, you use ...
6 votes
0 answers
47 views

Why is the ρστ absorption band called the ρστ absorption band?

Differential absorption in the near-infrared is used to retrieve total column water vapour from MODIS (Gao and Kaufman, 2003), OLCI (Preusker et al., 2021), and others. The idea is that reflected ...
2 votes
0 answers
20 views

Why the reversed-order terminology for paleocene/eocene and eoarchean/paleoarchean?

I just learned that the eoarchean era comes right before the paleoarchean era, whereas the paleocene epoch comes right before the eocene epoch. This is quite confusing. Is there any sense behind this (...
2 votes
0 answers
46 views

Water rushing out to meet wave term

Is there a word for the phenomenon of water seeming to rush out to meet an oncoming wave? Perhaps it's more of a physics terminology question?
7 votes
1 answer
495 views

"Archaeozoic" vs "Archean"

This is more of a terminological question, but I think it fits here. I've been reading a book by Rachel Carson, from the early 50s, and she uses the phrase "Archaeozic period". I haven't ...
4 votes
0 answers
170 views

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 ...
4 votes
2 answers
65 views

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 ...
8 votes
3 answers
8k views

Difference between "Geology" and "Physical(Natural) Geography"?

I know "Geology" is a branch of "Natural sciences" and is for studying natural and physical phenomena related to earth. But "Physical Geography/Natural Geography" seems to study exactly the same thing....
4 votes
1 answer
1k views

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) ...
14 votes
2 answers
4k views

Why is colored seismic inversion called 'colored'?

One of the seismic inversion algorithms is called 'colored' inversion. It is performed in the frequency domain and the point is in building an operator that directly transforms a seismic trace into ...
1 vote
1 answer
35 views

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. ...
1 vote
1 answer
61 views

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 ...
1 vote
1 answer
49 views

"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; ...
1 vote
1 answer
139 views

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 ...
1 vote
2 answers
113 views

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 ...
10 votes
3 answers
15k views

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 ...
22 votes
6 answers
131k views

Is there a difference between rock and stone?

I couldn't find the definitions from either source: Geology Dictionary Glossary of Geologic Terms
3 votes
1 answer
256 views

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 ...
5 votes
1 answer
725 views

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 ...
3 votes
1 answer
624 views

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 ...
1 vote
0 answers
26 views

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 ...
0 votes
1 answer
2k views

What's the difference between Waste Water Reclamation and Waste Water Reuse? [closed]

I received a project which there's the follow topic: Waste Water Reclamation and Reuse Are they not the same meaning, reuse and reclamation in this case?
5 votes
4 answers
154 views

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 ...
3 votes
4 answers
3k views

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%". ...
7 votes
2 answers
228 views

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 ...
2 votes
1 answer
91 views

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) ...
3 votes
1 answer
101 views

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.). ...
1 vote
1 answer
63 views

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 ...
3 votes
1 answer
150 views

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 ...
0 votes
3 answers
1k views

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, ...
3 votes
2 answers
496 views

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 ...
4 votes
1 answer
949 views

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....
1 vote
1 answer
664 views

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 ...
5 votes
1 answer
637 views

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 ...
4 votes
3 answers
623 views

Is the term "fertile ash" a misnomer?

I understand that volcanic ash contains minerals and can make soil more fertile. But I've also heard the term "fertile ash" in some documentary (I have forgotten in what context). Is that a ...
18 votes
3 answers
17k views

What is the difference between eluvium and alluvium?

I was reading about kimberlite on Wikipedia and it mentioned eluvium. I've heard of alluvium, alluvial fans, alluvial deposits, etc. However, when I looked up eluvium, it sounded exactly like alluvium....
4 votes
2 answers
119 views

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" ...
1 vote
0 answers
31 views

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 ...
1 vote
0 answers
972 views

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 ...
6 votes
1 answer
4k views

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?
2 votes
1 answer
69 views

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 ...
3 votes
2 answers
845 views

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 ...