Glossary of Terms
- AnticlineArching rock fold that is
closed at the top and open at bottom. Oldest formation occurs in the center
of an anticline.
- BasementComplex of igneous and metamorphic
rock that underlies the sedimentary rocks of a region.
- BioticPertaining to plants and animals.
- BorealRelating to the northern biotic
area characterized by the dominance of coniferous forests.
- Carbonate rockCollective term including
limestone and dolomite.
- ConiferousDescribing the cone-bearing
trees of the pine family; usually evergreen.
- Continental driftTheory that the
continental land masses drift across the earth as the earths plates
move and interact in a process called plate tectonics.
- DeciduousPlants that shed their leaves
seasonally and are leafless for part of the year.
- EndemicHaving originated in and being
restricted to one particular environment.
- EscarpmentCliff or steep rock face
formed by faulting that separates two comparatively level land surfaces.
- ExtinctNo longer existing.
- ExtirpatedExtinct in a particular
- FeldsparComplex of silicates that make
up bulk of the earths crust.
- FoldWarped rock including synclines and
- GneissMetamorphic granitelike rock showing
- GraniteIgneous rock composed predominantly
of visible grains of feldspar and quartz. Used in building.
- IgneousRock formed by cooled and hardened
magma within the crust or lava on the surface.
- KarstArea of land lying over limestone
and characterized by sinkholes, caves, and sinking streams.
- LavaMagma which reaches the surface of
- MagmaMolten rock within the earths
- MetamorphicRock which has been changed
into present state after being subjected to heat and pressure fromthe crust,
or chemical alteration.
- MonadnockLand that contains more erosion-resistant
rock than surrounding area and therefore is higher.
- OrogenyA geologic process which results
in the formation of mountain belts.
- OutcropExposed bedrock.
- Overthrust beltAn area where older
rock has been thrust over younger rock.
- RapidsFast-moving water that flows around
rocks and boulders in rivers; classified from I to VI according to degree
of difficulty navigating.
- SchistFlaky, metamorphic rock
containing parallel layers of minerals such as mica.
- SedimentaryRocks formed by the accumulation
of sediments (sandstone, shale) or the remains of products of animals or plants
- ShaleSedimentary rock composed of clay,
mud, and silt grains which easily splits into layers.
- SynclineA rock fold shaped like a
U that is closed at the bottom and open at the top. The youngest rock is at
the center of a syncline.
- TalusRock debris and boulders that accumulate
at the base of a cliff.
- WatershedThe area drained by a river
and all its tributaries.
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