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Glossary of Geology Terms
beginning with letter P
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pack Tweet Definition of pack Like Definition of pack on Facebook
  1. A bundle made up and prepared to be carried; especially, a bundle to be carried on the back; a load for an animal; a bale, as of goods.
  2. A number or quantity equal to the contents of a pack; hence, a multitude; a burden.
  3. A number or quantity of connected or similar things; a collective.
  4. A full set of playing cards; also, the assortment used in a particular game; as, a euchre pack.
  5. A number of hounds or dogs, hunting or kept together.
  6. A number of persons associated or leagued in a bad design or practice; a gang; as, a pack of thieves or knaves.
  7. A shook of cask staves.
  8. A bundle of sheet-iron plates for rolling simultaneously.
  9. A large area of floating pieces of ice driven together more or less closely.
  10. An envelope, or wrapping, of sheets used in hydropathic practice, called dry pack, wet pack, cold pack, etc., according to the method of treatment.
  11. (slang): A loose, lewd, or worthless person.
  12. (context, snooker, pool) A tight group of object balls in cue sports. Usually the reds in snooker.
  1. (transitive) To make a pack of; to arrange closely and securely in a pack; hence, to place and arrange compactly as in a pack; to press into close order or narrow compass; as to pack goods in a box; to pack fish.
  2. (transitive) To fill in the manner of a pack, that is, compactly and securely, as for transportation; hence, to fill closely or to repletion; to stow away within; to cause to be full; to crowd into; as, to pack a trunk; the play, or the audience, packs the theater.
  3. (transitive) To sort and arrange (the cards) in a pack so as to secure the game unfairly.
  4. (transitive) To bring together or make up unfairly and fraudulently, in order to secure a certain result; as, to pack a jury or a causes.
  5. (transitive) To contrive unfairly or fraudulently; to plot.
  6. (transitive) To load with a pack; hence, to load; to encumber; as, to pack a horse.
  7. (transitive) To cause to go; to send away with baggage or belongings; esp., to send away peremptorily or suddenly; " sometimes with off; as, to pack a boy off to school.
  8. (transitive) To transport in a pack, or in the manner of a pack (i. e., on the backs of men or beasts).
  9. (transitive) To envelop in a wet or dry sheet, within numerous coverings.
  10. (transitive) To render impervious, as by filling or surrounding with suitable material, or to fit or adjust so as to move without giving passage to air, water, or steam; as, to pack a joint; to pack the piston of a steam engine.
  11. (intransitive) To make up packs, bales, or bundles; to stow articles securely for transportation.
  12. (intransitive) To admit of stowage, or of making up for transportation or storage; to become compressed or to settle together, so as to form a compact mass; as, the goods pack conveniently; wet snow packs well.
  13. (intransitive) To gather in flocks or schools; as, the grouse or the perch begin to pack.
  14. (intransitive) To depart in haste; " generally with off or away.
  15. (intransitive) To unite in bad measures; to confederate for ill purposes; to join in collusion.
  16. (intransitive) To carry a gun.
pahoehoe Tweet Definition of pahoehoe Like Definition of pahoehoe on Facebook
  1. A form of lava flow of basaltic rock, usually dark-colored with a smooth or ropey surface. It is one of two chief forms of lava flow emitted from volcanoes of the Hawaiian type, the other form being aa.
  • 1859' - R. C. Haskell in American journal of science and arts'', series XXVIII
  • : We...saw 'pahoihoi' or solid lava forming, and also 'aa' or clinkers.
    Paleogene Tweet Definition of Paleogene Like Definition of Paleogene on Facebook
    proper noun 
    1. (geology) The Paleogene period.
    1. (geology) Of a geologic period within the Cenozoic era; comprises the Paleocene, Eocene and Oligocene epochs from about 65 to 23 million years ago.
    paleomagnetism Tweet Definition of paleomagnetism Like Definition of paleomagnetism on Facebook
    1. (geology) The study of the strength and direction of the Earth's magnetic field as it has changed over geologic time
    Paleozoic Tweet Definition of Paleozoic Like Definition of Paleozoic on Facebook
    proper noun 
    1. (geology) The Paleozoic era.
    1. (geology) Of a geologic era within the Phanerozoic eon and comprises the Cambrian, Ordovician, Silurian, Devonian, Carboniferous and Permian periods from about 542 to 250 million years ago, from the age of trilobites to that of reptiles.
    Pangaea Tweet Definition of Pangaea Like Definition of Pangaea on Facebook
    proper noun 
    1. A supercontinent that included all the landmasses of the earth before the Triassic Period and that broke up into Laurasia and Gondwana.
    peat Tweet Definition of peat Like Definition of peat on Facebook
    1. Soil formed of dead but not fully decay, decayed flora found in bog areas
    pediment Tweet Definition of pediment Like Definition of pediment on Facebook
    1. a classical architectural element consisting of a triangular section or gable found above the horizontal superstructure (entablature) which lies immediately upon the columns
    peneplain Tweet Definition of peneplain Like Definition of peneplain on Facebook
    1. A region of faint or low relief, a based-level plain.
    Pennsylvanian Tweet Definition of Pennsylvanian Like Definition of Pennsylvanian on Facebook
    proper noun (Pennsylvanians, -)
    1. An inhabitant or a resident of the state of Pennsylvania.
    2. (geology) Any of the three Pennsylvanian epochs.
    1. (geology) of any of the three geologic epochs (lower, middle and upper) within the Carboniferous period from 318 to 299 million years ago; marked by a high oxygen atmosphere and the rise of reptiles and winged insects.
    2. of, or pertaining to the state of Pennsylvania.
    percolation Tweet Definition of percolation Like Definition of percolation on Facebook
    1. the seepage or filtration of a liquid through a porous substance
    period Tweet Definition of period Like Definition of period on Facebook
    1. (context, now mostly, North America) Punctuation mark ending a sentence or marking an abbreviation. <!-- What languages does this apply to? All? Or just most? Should it be
    1. appropriate, Appropriate for a given historical era.
      • 2004, Mark Singer, Somewhere in America, Houghton Mifflin, page 70
      • :As the guests arrived &mdash; there were about a hundred, a majority in attire &mdash; I began to feel out of place in my beige summer suit, white shirt, and red necktie. Then I got over it. I certainly didn't suffer from Confederate-uniform envy.
    permeability Tweet Definition of permeability Like Definition of permeability on Facebook
    1. the property of being permeable
    2. the rate of flow of a fluid through a porous material
    3. (geology) a measure of the ability of a rock to transmit water
    4. (physics) a quantitative measure of the degree of magnetization of a material in the presence of an applied magnetic field (in terms of, for instance, Newtons per square Amperes in SI units).
    (wikipedia, permeability (geology))      
    Permian Tweet Definition of Permian Like Definition of Permian on Facebook
    proper noun 
    1. (geology) The Permian period.
    1. (geology) Of a geologic period within the Paleozoic era; comprises the Cisuralian, Guadalupian and Lopingian epochs from about 280 to 248 million years ago.
    Phanerozoic Tweet Definition of Phanerozoic Like Definition of Phanerozoic on Facebook
    proper noun 
    1. (geology) The Phanerozoic eon.
    1. (geology) Of, or relating to the geologic eon from about 570 million years ago to the present; comprises the Paleozoic, Mesozoic and Cenozoic eras.
    photogeology Tweet Definition of photogeology Like Definition of photogeology on Facebook
    1. The use of aerial photography to interpret geologic features
    pipe Tweet Definition of pipe Like Definition of pipe on Facebook
    noun ]]
    1. A hollow tube that transports water, steam, or other liquid; usually made of metal, ceramic, wood, or plastic.
    2. A hollow stem with bowl at one end used for smoking (see also water pipe or bong)
    3. (geology) A vertical conduit through the Earth's crust below a volcano, through which magma has passed; often filled with volcanic breccia
    4. A type of pasta, similar to macaroni
    5. Decorative edging stitched to the hems or seams of an object made of fabric (clothing, hats, pillows, curtains, etc.); often a contrasting color
    6. (music) A hollow tube used to produce sound, such as an organ pipe.
    7. (music) A wind instrument making a whistling sound. (see pan pipes, bagpipe, boatswain's pipe)
    8. (lacrosse) One of the goalposts of the goal.
    9. (computing) The ASCII character at position 124 (decimal), 7C (hex), 01111100 (binary): " , "
    10. (computing) In Unix, the pipe character signifies that the output of one program feeds directly as input to another program.
    11. (context, computing, slang) A data backbone, or broadband Internet access (e.g., a "fat pipe" refers to a high-bandwidth connection).
    12. (obsolete) An English measure of capacity for liquids, containing 126 wine gallons; half a ton.
      • 1882: Again, by 28 Hen. VIII, cap. 14, it is re-enacted that the tun of wine should contain 252 gallons, a butt of Malmsey 126 gallons, a pipe 126 gallons, a tercian or puncheon 84 gallons, a hogshead 63 gallons, a tierce 41 gallons, a barrel 31.5 gallons, a rundlet 18.5 gallons. &mdash; James Edwin Thorold Rogers, A History of Agriculture and Prices in England, p. 205.
        1. (context, AU, colloquial, obsolete) An anonymous satire or essay, insulting and frequently libelous, written on a piece of paper and left somewhere public where it could be found and thus spread, to embarrass the author's enemies.
        1818: yet, it is much to be hoped, that from his example pipe-making will in future be reposed solely in the hands of Mr. William Cluer of the Brickfield Hill. &mdash; w:Sydney Gazette, Sydney Gazette, 26 September 1818, on w:William Bland, William Bland convicted of libelling w:Lachlan Macquarie, Governor Macquarie in a pipe (William Cluer was an earthenware pipe manufacturer). Quoted in More Pig Bites Baby! Stories from Australia's First Newspaper, volume 2, ed. Micahel Connor, Duffy and Snellgrove, 2004, ISBN 1-876631-91-0.
    verb (pip, ing)
    1. To convey or transport something by means of pipes.
    2. To install or configure pipes.
    3. To play music on a pipe instrument, such as a bagpipe.
    4. (nautical) To signal or order by a note pattern on a bosun's pipe.
    5. To decorate a cake using a pastry bag a flexible bag from which icing is forced through a small nozzle to make various designs
    piracy Tweet Definition of piracy Like Definition of piracy on Facebook
    noun (piracies, -)
    1. (nautical) robbery, Robbery at sea; taking a ship away from the control of those who are legally entitled to it.
    2. A similar act of robbery, such as hijacking of an aircraft.
    3. The unauthorized duplication of goods protected by intellectual property law (e.g. copying software unlawfully).
    4. The operation of an unlicensed radio or television station.
    pirate Tweet Definition of pirate Like Definition of pirate on Facebook
    noun (plural: pirates)
    1. One who plunders at sea; commonly attacking merchant vessels, though often pillage, pillaging port towns.
    2. (internet) One who reproduces copyrighted works without permission for the purpose of distributing them to others for free
    3. (internet) One who downloads copyrighted works from the internet illegally.
    verb (pirat, ing)
    1. (internet) To obtain, usually by downloading from a file sharing network, an unauthorized copy of software or other piece of work.
    Not willing to spend full price for the computer game, Heidi instead pirated a copy.
    1. An illegal imitation or reproduction of a well-known trademarked product or work subject to copyright protection.
    pitch Tweet Definition of pitch Like Definition of pitch on Facebook
    1. A sticky, gummy substance secreted by trees; sap.
    It is hard to get this off of my hand.
    1. A dark, extremely viscous material remaining in still after distilling crude oil and tar.
    They put on the mast to protect it. The barrel was sealed with .
    1. (baseball) The act of pitching a baseball.
    The was low and inside.
    1. (sports) The field on which cricket, soccer, rugby or hockey, field hockey is played.
    ''The teams met on the .
    1. An effort to sell or promote something.
    He gave me a sales .
    1. The distance between evenly spaced objects, e.g. the teeth of a saw or letters in a monospace font.
    The of pixels on the point scale is 72 pixels per inch.
    The of this saw is perfect for that type of wood.
    1. The angle at which an object sits.
    The of the roof or haystack, the propellor blades'
    1. More specifically, the rotation angle about the transverse axis.
    The of an aircraft
    1. (music) The perceived frequency of a sound or note.
    The of middle "C" is familiar to many musicians.
    1. (music) In an a cappella group, the singer responsible for singing a note for the other members to tune themselves by.
    Bob, our , let out a clear middle "C" and our conductor gave the signal to start.
    1. (aviation) A measure of the degree to which an aircraft's nose tilts up or down. Also a measure of the angle of attack of a propeller.
    2. (nautical) The measure of extent to which a nautical vessel rotates on its athwartships axis, causing its bow and stern to go up and down. Compare with roll and heave.
    3. The place where a busker performs is called their pitch.
    4. A level or degree.
      • 1748. David Hume. Enquiries concerning the human understanding and concerning the principles of moral. London: Oxford University Press, 1973. § 11.
      • : But, except the mind be disordered by disease or madness, they never can arrive at such a of vivacity
    verb (pitch, es)
    1. (transitive) To throw.
    He pitched the horseshoe.
    1. (context, baseball, transitive, or, intransitive) To throw (the ball) toward home plate.
    (i, transitive) The hurler pitched a curveball.
    (i, intransitive) He pitched high and inside.
    1. (context, baseball, intransitive) To play baseball in the position of pitcher.
    Bob pitches today.
    1. (transitive) To throw away; discard.
    He pitched the candy wrapper.
    1. (transitive) To promote, advertise, or attempt to sell.
    He pitched the idea for months with no takers.
    1. (transitive) To assemble or erect (a tent).
    Pitch the tent over there.
    1. (context, of, _, ships, and, aircraft, transitive, or, intransitive) To move so that the front of the craft goes alternatively up and down.
    (i, transitive) The typhoon pitched the deck of the ship.
    (i, intransitive) The airplane pitched.
    1. (context, golf, transitive) To play a short, high, lofty shot that lands with backspin.
    The only way to get on the green from here is to pitch the ball over the bunker.
    1. (context, cricket, intransitive) To bounce on the playing surface.
    The ball pitched well short of the batsman.
    1. (context, Bristolian dialect, of snow, intransitive) To settle and build up, without melting.
    1. Completely dark or black; like tar.
    The room was black.
    plate Tweet Definition of plate Like Definition of plate on Facebook
    1. A serving dish or food course.
    We filled our plate from the bountiful table.
    1. A flat metallic object of uniform thickness.
    A clutch usually has two plates.
    1. (weightlifting) A weighted disk, usually of metal, with a hole in the center for use with a barbell, dumbbell, or exercise machine.
    2. (printing) An engraved surface used to transfer an image to paper.
    We finished making the plates this morning.
    1. (context, printing, photography) An image or copy.
    2. (dentistry) A shaped and fitted surface, usually ceramic or metal that fits into the mouth and in which teeth are implanted; a dental plate.
    3. (construction) A horizontal framing member at the top or bottom of a group of vertical studs.
    4. A decorative or food service item coated with silver.
    The tea was served in the .
    1. (Cockney rhyming slang) feet, from "plates of meat".
    "Sit down and give your plates a rest"
    1. (baseball) home plate; where the batter stands next to
    There was a close play at the .
    1. (geology) tectonic plate
    verb (plat, ing)
    1. To cover the surface material of an object with a thin coat of another material, usually a metal.
    This ring is plated with a thin layer of gold.
    1. To place the various elements of a meal on the diner's plate prior to serving.
    After preparation, the chef will the dish.
    1. To perform cunnilingus.
    He fingered her as he plated her with his tongue.
    plate tectonics Tweet Definition of plate tectonics Like Definition of plate tectonics on Facebook
    1. (geology) the large-scale movement of tectonic plates that contributes to continental drift
    platform Tweet Definition of platform Like Definition of platform on Facebook
    1. A raised stage from which speeches are made and songs are sung.
    2. A political stance on a broad set of issues, which are called planks.
    3. A raised structure from which passengers can enter or leave a train.
    4. (automobiles) A set of components shared by several vehicle models.
    5. (computing) A particular type of operating system or environment such as a database or other specific software, and/or a particular type of computer or microprocessor, used to describe a particular environment for running other software, or for defining a specific software or hardware environment for discussion purposes.
    That program runs on an X-Window-System .
    Typical PCs use the x86 .''
    Pleistocene Tweet Definition of Pleistocene Like Definition of Pleistocene on Facebook
    proper noun 
    1. (geology) The Pleistocene epoch.
    1. (geology) Of a geologic epoch within the Neogene period from about 1.7 million to 11,000 years ago; marked by the evolution of man, and the extinction of the large mammals.
    Pliocene Tweet Definition of Pliocene Like Definition of Pliocene on Facebook
    proper noun 
    1. (geology) The Pliocene epoch.
    1. (geology) Of a geologic epoch within the Neogene period from about 5.3 to 1.7 million years ago; marked by the appearance of man's first ancestors.
    plug Tweet Definition of plug Like Definition of plug on Facebook
    1. (context, electricity) A pronged connector, connecting device which fits into a mating socket.
    I pushed the back into the electrical socket and the lamp began to glow again.
    1. Any piece of wood, metal, or other substance used to stop or fill a hole; a stopple.
    Pull the out of the tub so it can drain.
    1. A flat oblong cake of pressed tobacco.
    He preferred a of tobacco to loose chaw.
    1. (context, US, slang) A high, tapering silk hat.
    2. (context, US, slang) A worthless horse.
    That sorry old is ready for the glue factory!
    1. (context, construction) A block of wood let into a wall to afford a hold for nails.
    2. A mention of a product (usually a book, film or play) in an interview, or an interview which features one or more of these.
    During the interview, the author put in a for his latest novel.
    1. (Geology) A body of once molten rock that hardened in a volcanic vent. Usually round or oval in shape.
    Pressure built beneath the in the caldera, eventually resulting in a catastrophic explosion of pyroclastic shrapnel and ash.
    1. (context, fishing) A type of lure consisting of a rigid, buoyant or semi-buoyant body and one or more hooks.
    The fisherman cast the into a likely pool, hoping to catch a whopper.
    verb (plug, g, ed)
    1. (transitive) To stop with a plug; to make tight by stopping a hole.
    He attempted to the leaks with some caulk.
    1. (transitive) To mention a particular product or service.
    The main guest on the show just kept plugging his latest movie: it got so tiresome.
    1. (intransitive) (informal) To persist or continue with something.
    Keep plugging at the problem until you find a solution.
    1. (transitive) To shoot a bullet into something with a gun.
      • 1884, s:Author:H. Rider Haggard, H. Rider Haggard, s:The Witch's Head/Book II/Chapter II, The Witch's Head
      • :I am awfully glad that you kept your nerve and plugged him; it would have been better if you could have nailed him through the right shoulder, which would not have killed him...
    plume Tweet Definition of plume Like Definition of plume on Facebook
    noun (plural: plumes)
    1. a feather of a bird, especially a large or showy one
    2. a cluster of feathers worn as an ornament, especially on a helmet
    3. (geology) an upwelling of molten material from the Earth's mantle
    4. an upward spray of water from a whale's spout
    plunge Tweet Definition of plunge Like Definition of plunge on Facebook
    noun (plural: plunges)
    1. The act of thrusting into or submerging; a dive, leap, rush, or pitch into, or as into, water; as, to take the water with a plunge.
    2. Hence, a desperate hazard or act; a state of being submerged or overwhelmed with difficulties.
    3. The act of pitching or throwing one's self headlong or violently forward, like an unruly horse.
    4. Heavy and reckless betting in horse racing; hazardous speculation.
    verb (plung, ing)
    1. To thrust into water, or into any substance that is penetrable; to immerse; to cause to penetrate or enter quickly and forcibly; to thrust; as, to plunge the body into water; to plunge a dagger into the breast. Also used figuratively; as, to plunge a nation into war.
    2. To baptize by immersion.
    3. To entangle; to embarrass; to overcome.
    4. To thrust or cast one's self into water or other fluid; to submerge one's self; to dive, or to rush in; as, he plunged into the river. Also used figuratively; as, to plunge into debt.
    5. To pitch or throw one's self headlong or violently forward, as a horse does.
    6. To bet heavily and with seeming recklessness on a race, or other contest; in an extended sense, to risk large sums in hazardous speculations.
    pluton Tweet Definition of pluton Like Definition of pluton on Facebook
    1. (mineralogy) A body of igneous rock formed beneath the surface of the earth by consolidation of magma
    plutonic Tweet Definition of plutonic Like Definition of plutonic on Facebook
    1. (mineralogy) An igneous rock that cooled and hardened below the earth's surface.
    pluvial Tweet Definition of pluvial Like Definition of pluvial on Facebook
    1. Of, pertaining to, or produced by rain
    pneumatolysis Tweet Definition of pneumatolysis Like Definition of pneumatolysis on Facebook
    noun (pl=pneumatolyses)
    1. (geology) the alteration of rocks and minerals by gases or magmatic fluid within volcanos etc
    porosity Tweet Definition of porosity Like Definition of porosity on Facebook
    noun (porosities, -)
    1. (uncountable) The state of being porous
    2. (countable) A measure of how porous a material is; the ratio of the volume of pores to the total volume
    pothole Tweet Definition of pothole Like Definition of pothole on Facebook
    1. A hole in a road"s surface, especially one caused by erosion or traffic use.
    2. A pit formed in the bed of a turbulent stream.
      • Pothole - A circular hole formed in the rocky beds of rivers by the grinding action of stones or gravel whirled round by the water in what was first a natural depression of the rock. Webster 1913
      • The earliest ideas on the creation of potholes are that they were associated with "moulins de glacier" (glacier mills) formed where surface streams on glaciers and ice sheets fall into holes in the ice. Water entering these surficial holes was believed to impact on the bedrock beneath creating a large . The "Moulin Hypothesis", first suggested in 1874, continued to be accepted by many authors until the 1950s. However, commencing in the 1930s, other authors have suggested dissatisfaction with the moulin hypothesis, largely on the grounds that it failed to explain how ice could remain stable long enough for the "giant" potholes to form and why many potholes (like those at Rockwood) were present in large numbers. Grand River Conservation Authority (Canada) Newsletter of May-June 2002.
        1. (geology) A vertical cave system, often found in limestone
    Proterozoic Tweet Definition of Proterozoic Like Definition of Proterozoic on Facebook
    proper noun 
    1. (geology) The Proterozoic eon.
    1. (geology) Of, or relating to the geologic eon from about 2,500 to 570 million years ago; comprises the Paleoproterozoic, Mesoproterozoic and Neoproterozoic eras; marked by the build up of oxygen in the atmosphere and the emergence of primitive multicellular life.
    pyroclastic Tweet Definition of pyroclastic Like Definition of pyroclastic on Facebook
    1. mostly composed of rock fragments of volcanic origin
    pyrogenic Tweet Definition of pyrogenic Like Definition of pyrogenic on Facebook
    1. producing heat, especially in the body
    2. producing fever
    3. (geology) of a mineral formed from a magma at high temperature
    pyrogenous Tweet Definition of pyrogenous Like Definition of pyrogenous on Facebook
    1. produced by fire or heat
    2. producing fire, heat, or fever

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