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All Words Glossary

Glossary of Geology Terms
beginning with letter S
Browse the Geology Glossary
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sagger Tweet Definition of sagger Like Definition of sagger on Facebook
noun
  1. A box or casing of clay used to protect delicate ceramics during firing; a saggar
  1. (slang) term for a young male, who wears trousers very low on his hips, exposing underwear and/or his buttocks or lower abdominals.
    1. The NATO designation for a Soviet AT-3 series man-portable, wire-guided missile first deployed in the 1960's.
saltation Tweet Definition of saltation Like Definition of saltation on Facebook
noun
  1. a leap, jump or dance
  1. (biology) a sudden change from one generation to the next; a mutation
    1. any abrupt transition
salt dome Tweet Definition of salt dome Like Definition of salt dome on Facebook
noun
  1. (geology) An upwelling of crystalline rock salt and its aureole of deformed sediments
sandpit Tweet Definition of sandpit Like Definition of sandpit on Facebook
noun
  1. An enclosed area, generally within a childrens play area, containing sand. The purpose of which is to allow play construction and enjoyment.
Sangamon Tweet Definition of Sangamon Like Definition of Sangamon on Facebook
proper noun
  1. A county in central Illinois, with county seat Springfield.
  2. A river originating in central Illinois, a tributary to the Illinois river.
sapropel Tweet Definition of sapropel Like Definition of sapropel on Facebook
noun
  1. an aquatic sludge-like sediment rich in organic matter formed in stagnant water
scarp Tweet Definition of scarp Like Definition of scarp on Facebook
noun
  1. the steep artificial slope below a fort's parapet
  1. (geology) a cliff at the edge of a plateau or ridge caused by erosion; the steeper side of an escarpment
scoria Tweet Definition of scoria Like Definition of scoria on Facebook
noun (scoriae)
  1. The slag or dross that remains after the smelting of metal from an ore
  2. (geology) A porous rock that is formed by solidified lava, and which can be found around a volcano's crater.
scree Tweet Definition of scree Like Definition of scree on Facebook
noun
  1. loose stony debris on a slope
  2. a slope of such material at the base of a cliff etc
seam Tweet Definition of seam Like Definition of seam on Facebook
noun
  1. A folded back and stitched piece of fabric.
  2. A suture.
  3. A thin stratum, especially of coal or mineral.
  4. (cricket) The stitched equatorial seam of a cricket ball; the sideways movement of a ball when it bounces on the seam.
  5. An old English measure of grain, containing eight bushels.
  6. An old English measure of glass, containing twenty-four weys of five pounds, or 120 pounds.
    • 1952: As white glass was 6s. the 'seam', containing 24 'weys' (pise, or pondera) of 5 lb., and 2 1/2 lb. was reckoned sufficient to make one foot of glazing, the cost of glass would be 1 1/2d. leaving 2 1/2d. for labour. — L.F. Salzman, Building in England, p. 175.
verb
  1. To put together with a seam.
  2. To mark with a seam.
  3. To crack open along a seam.
  4. (cricket) Of the ball, to move sideways after bouncing on the seam.
  5. (cricket) Of a bowler, to make the ball move thus.
secondary Tweet Definition of secondary Like Definition of secondary on Facebook
adjective
  1. Succeeding next in order to the first; of second place, origin, rank, rank, etc.; not primary; subordinate; not of the first order or rate.
  2. Acting by deputation or delegated authority; as, the work of secondary hands.
  3. Possessing some quality, or having been subject to some operation (as substitution), in the second degree; as, a secondary salt, a secondary amine, etc. Cf. primary.
  4. (geology) Subsequent in origin; -- said of minerals produced by alteertion or deposition subsequent to the formation of the original rocks mass; also of characters of minerals (as secondary cleavage, etc.) developed by pressure or other causes.
  5. (zootomy) Pertaining to the second joint of the wing of a bird.
  6. (medicine) Dependent or consequent upon another disease; as, Bright's disease is often secondary to scarlet fever. (b) Occuring in the second stage of a disease; as, the secondary symptoms of syphilis.
sediment Tweet Definition of sediment Like Definition of sediment on Facebook
noun
  1. Small particles, particularly dirt, that precipitates from a river or other body of water.
The Nile delta is composed of that was washed down and deposited at the mouth of the river.
sedimentary Tweet Definition of sedimentary Like Definition of sedimentary on Facebook
adjective
  1. (geology) A form of rock made by the deposition and compression of small particles.
sedimentation Tweet Definition of sedimentation Like Definition of sedimentation on Facebook
noun
  1. The separation of a suspension of solid particles into a concentrated slurry and a supernatant liquid, either to concentrate the solid or to clarify the liquid
sedimentology Tweet Definition of sedimentology Like Definition of sedimentology on Facebook
noun
  1. (geology) The study of natural sediments and of the processes by which they are formed
seismic Tweet Definition of seismic Like Definition of seismic on Facebook
adjective
  1. Related to, or caused by an earthquake or other vibration of the Earth.
  2. (Metaphorically) Of very large, or widespread effect.
seismicity Tweet Definition of seismicity Like Definition of seismicity on Facebook
noun
  1. factor of how seismic a region is. How prone it is to earthquakes.
seismograph Tweet Definition of seismograph Like Definition of seismograph on Facebook
noun
  1. an instrument that automatically detects and records the intensity, direction and duration of earthquakes and similar events
seismology Tweet Definition of seismology Like Definition of seismology on Facebook
noun
  1. The study of the vibration of the Earth's interior caused by natural and unnatural sources
seismometer Tweet Definition of seismometer Like Definition of seismometer on Facebook
noun
  1. (geology) A device used by seismologists to detect and measure seismic waves and therefore locate earthquakes etc; a seismograph
seismoscope Tweet Definition of seismoscope Like Definition of seismoscope on Facebook
noun
  1. an instrument that indicates the occurrence of an earthquake
series Tweet Definition of series Like Definition of series on Facebook
noun (series)
  1. A number of things that follow on one after the other or are connected one after the other.
  2. A television or radio program which consists of several episodes that are broadcast in regular intervals
Friends was one of the most successful television series in recent years.
  1. (analysis) The sum of the terms of a sequence.
  2. (cricket) A group of matches between two sides; the aim being to win more matches than the opposition
shake Tweet Definition of shake Like Definition of shake on Facebook
noun
  1. The act of shaking something.
The cat gave the mouse a .
  1. A milkshake.
  2. Ground-up marijuana.
verb (shakes, shaking, shook, shaken)
  1. (transitive) (ergative) To cause (something) to move rapidly from side to side.
The earthquake shook the building.
  1. (transitive) To disturb emotionally; to shock.
Her father's death shook her terribly.
  1. (transitive) To lose, evade, or get rid of (something)
I can't the feeling that I forgot something.
  1. (intransitive) To move from side to side.
She shook with grief.
  1. (intransitive) To shake hands.
OK, let's on it.
sheet Tweet Definition of sheet Like Definition of sheet on Facebook
noun
  1. A thin cloth covering for a bed.
Use the sheets in the hall closet to make the bed.
  1. A single rectangular piece of paper.
Can I have a of paper?
  1. A flat metal pan used for baking.
Place the rolls on the cookie , edges touching, and bake for 10-11 minutes.
  1. A thin, flat layer of material; as, a sheet of tinfoil.
Can I have a of paper?
  1. A broad, flat expanse of material on the ground; as, a sheet of mud, a sheet of ice.
  2. (context, nautical) A line used to adjust the trim of a sail.
  3. (context, nautical, nonstandard) A sail. (un-informed usage, correctly refers to the line)
  4. (curling) The area of ice on which a curling game is played.
shield Tweet Definition of shield Like Definition of shield on Facebook
noun
  1. (Armor) A broad piece of defensive armor, carried on the arm, formerly in general use in war, for the protection of the body.
Quotations
  • 1599: Knocks go and come; God's vassals drop and die; And sword and shield, In bloody field, Doth win immortal fame. — William Shakespeare, Henry V, Act III, Scene II, line 8.
1786: The shields used by our Norman ancestors were the triangular or heater shield, the target or buckler, the roundel or rondache, and the pavais, pavache, or tallevas. — Francis Grose, A Treatise on Ancient Armour and Weapons, page 22.
  1. Anything which protects or defends; defense; shelter; protection.
Quotations
1592: Go muster men. My counsel is my shield; We must be brief when traitors brave the field. — William Shakespeare, Richard III, Act 4, Scene 3, line 56.
  1. Figuratively, one who protects or defends.
Quotations
1611: Fear not, Abram: I am thy shield, and thy exceeding great reward. The Holy Bible, King James Version, Genesis 15:1.
  1. (botany) In lichens, a hardened cup or disk surrounded by a rim and containing the fructification, or asci.
  2. (heraldry) The escutcheon or field on which are placed the bearings in coats of arms.
  3. (geology) A large expanse of exposed stable Precambrian rock.
  4. (mining) (Mining) A framework used to protect workmen in making an adit under ground, and capable of being pushed along as excavation progresses.
  5. A spot resembling, or having the form of a shield.
Bespotted as with shields of red and black. Spenser.
  1. (obsolete) A coin, the old French crown, or écu, having on one side the figure of a shield.
  2. (scifi) A field of energy which protects or defends.
  3. (colloquial) A police badge
Quotations
The chief put something in his hand and Bosch looked down to see the gold detective's . http://www.michaelconnelly.com/Book_Collection/Closers/ClosersExcerpt/closersexcerpt.html
  1. (transport) A sign or symbol, usually containing numbers and sometimes letters, identifying a highway route.
verb
  1. To protect, to defend.
    • 2004: w: Chris Wallace (journalist), Chris Wallace, Character: Profiles in Presidential Courage
    • :Shots rang out and a 15-year-old boy, shielding a woman from the line of fire, was killed.
      1. (electricity) to protect from the influence of
sial Tweet Definition of sial Like Definition of sial on Facebook
noun
  1. (geology) The rocks rich in silicon and aluminum that form the upper layer of the earth's crust, which lies beneath all continental landmasses.
sill Tweet Definition of sill Like Definition of sill on Facebook
noun
  1. (also window sill) A horizontal slat which forms the base of a window.
She looked out the window resting her elbows on the window sill.
  1. A horizontal member bearing the upright portion of a frame.
  2. A horizontal layer of igneous rock between older rock beds.
silt Tweet Definition of silt Like Definition of silt on Facebook
noun
  1. Mud or fine earth deposited from running or standing water.
Silurian Tweet Definition of Silurian Like Definition of Silurian on Facebook
proper noun
  1. (geology) The Silurian period.
adjective
  1. (geology) Of a geologic period within the Paleozoic era; comprises the Llandovery, Wenlock, Ludlow and Pridoli epochs from about 439 to 409 million years ago.
sima Tweet Definition of sima Like Definition of sima on Facebook
noun (wikipedia, sima (geology), sima)
  1. (geology) The lower layer of the earth's outer crust that underlies the sial and is rich in silica, iron, and magnesium.
sink Tweet Definition of sink Like Definition of sink on Facebook
noun
  1. A basin used for holding water for washing.
  2. (baseball) The motion of a sinker pitch.
Jones' has a two-seamer with heavy .
verb (sinks, sinking, sank, sunk or sunken)
  1. (intransitive) To descend into a liquid or other substance or material.
  2. (transitive) To submerge (something) in a liquid or other substance or material.
  3. (transitive) To cause (a ship, etc) to sink.
  4. (transitive) To push (something) into something.
The dog sank its teeth into the delivery man's leg.
sinkhole Tweet Definition of sinkhole Like Definition of sinkhole on Facebook
noun
  1. (context, Geology) A hole formed in soluble rock by the action of water, serving to conduct surface water to an underground passage
  2. also called sink. A depressed area in which waste or drainage collects.
sinter Tweet Definition of sinter Like Definition of sinter on Facebook
noun
  1. (geology) an alluvial sediment deposited by a mineral spring
    1. a mass formed by sintering
    2. a mixture of iron ore and fluxes added to a blast furnace
verb
  1. to compact and heat a powder to form a solid mass
slag Tweet Definition of slag Like Definition of slag on Facebook
noun
  1. The impurity, impurities which result and are separated out when melting a metal or refine, refining it from its ore; also, vitrify, vitrified cinders.
  2. The scoria of a volcano.
  3. (context, UK, AU, pejorative) A woman (sometimes a man) who has loose morals relating to sex.
verb (slags, slagging, slagged, slagged)
  1. (transitive) To make slag.
  2. (transitive) To talk badly about someone; to denigrate someone.
snowfield Tweet Definition of snowfield Like Definition of snowfield on Facebook
noun
  1. a large permanent expanse of snow on a mountain or at the head of a glacier
soil science Tweet Definition of soil science Like Definition of soil science on Facebook
noun
  1. The scientific study of the formation, classification, mapping, and the physical, chemical and biological properties of soil
solfatara Tweet Definition of solfatara Like Definition of solfatara on Facebook
noun
  1. an area of volcanic activity that gives off sulfurous steam
sorted Tweet Definition of sorted Like Definition of sorted on Facebook
adjective
  1. Put into some order by sorting.
a sorted list of numbers
  1. (informal; usually with out) In good order, under control.
    I have to get my life .
    1. (slang) In possession of a sufficient supply, especially of narcotics.
    Sorted for e"s and whizz (song and album by UK band w:Pulp_(band), Pulp)
sorting Tweet Definition of sorting Like Definition of sorting on Facebook
noun
  1. ordering
  2. categorizing
verb
  1. (present participle of, to sort)
stack Tweet Definition of stack Like Definition of stack on Facebook
noun
  1. A large pile of hay, grain, straw, or the like, larger at the bottom than the top, sometimes covered with thatch.
  2. A pile of similar objects, each directly on top of the last.
Please bring me a chair from that stack in the corner.
  1. A pile of poles or wood, indefinite in quantity.
  2. A pile of wood containing 108 cubic feet. (~3 m³)
  3. A smokestack.
  4. (computing) A linear data structure in which the last datum stored is the first retrieved; a LIFO queue.
  5. (computing) A portion of memory in a computer occupied by a data structure, particularly (the stack) that portion of main memory manipulated during machine language procedure call related instructions.
  6. (geology) Coastal landform. A large vertical column of rock in the sea.
  7. (context, library) Compactly spaced bookshelf, bookshelves used to house large collections of books.
  8. (figurative) A large amount of an object.
  9. (military) A pile of rifles or muskets in a cone shape.
  10. (poker) The amount of money a player has on the table.
  11. (architecture) A vertical drain pipe.
verb
  1. To place one or more objects or material in the form of a stack or on an existing stack.
Please stack those chairs in the corner.
  1. (card games) To arrange the cards in a deck in a particular manner.
This is the third hand in a row you've drawn a four-of-a-kind. Someone is stacking the deck!
  1. (poker) To take all the money another player currently has on the table.
I won Jill's last $100 this hand; I stacked her!
stage Tweet Definition of stage Like Definition of stage on Facebook
noun
  1. a phase
''He is in the recovery of his illness.
  1. The area, in any theatre, generally raised, upon which an audience watches plays or other public ceremonies.
''The band returned to the to play an encore.
  1. Short for stagecoach, an enclosed horsedrawn carriage used to carry passengers
''The pulled into town carrying the payroll for the mill and three ladies.
  1. (electronics) the number of an electronic circuit"s block, such as a filter, an amplifier, etc.
a 3- cascade of a 2nd-order bandpass Butterworth filter
  1. The place on a microscope where the slide is placed
He placed the slide on the stage.
verb (stag, ing)
  1. To produce on a stage.
The local theater group will "Pride and Prejudice".
  1. To demonstrate in a deceptive manner.
The salesman"s demonstration of the new cleanser was staged to make it appear highly effective.
  1. To pause or wait at a designated location.
We staged the cars to be ready for the start, then waited for the starter to drop the flag.
stalactite Tweet Definition of stalactite Like Definition of stalactite on Facebook
noun
  1. (geology) A mineral deposit of calcium carbonate, in shapes similar to icicles, that hangs from the roof of a cave.
stalagmite Tweet Definition of stalagmite Like Definition of stalagmite on Facebook
noun
  1. (geology) A mineral deposit of calcium carbonate, in shapes similar to icicles, that lie on the ground of a cave.
stratify Tweet Definition of stratify Like Definition of stratify on Facebook
verb (stratif, i, ed)
  1. (intransitive) To become separated out into distinct layers or stratum, strata.
In this cut you can see how the sedimentary rock layers have been clearly stratified.
Even without a pronounced social class system, people in a large society tend to .
  1. (transitive) To separate out into distinct layers or stratum, strata.
stratigraphy Tweet Definition of stratigraphy Like Definition of stratigraphy on Facebook
noun
  1. (geology) The study of rock layers and the layering process (stratification)
  2. (archaeology) the layering of deposits, with newer remains overlaying older ones, forming a chronology of the site.
stratum Tweet Definition of stratum Like Definition of stratum on Facebook
noun (strat, a)
  1. One of several parallel horizontal layers of material arranged one on top of another
  2. (geology) A layer of sedimentary rock having approximately the same composition throughout
  3. Any of the regions of the atmosphere, such as the stratosphere, that occur as layers
  4. (biology) A layer of tissue
  5. A class of society composed of people with similar social, cultural, or economic status
striation Tweet Definition of striation Like Definition of striation on Facebook
noun
  1. (countable) (mineralogy) One of a number of parallel grooves and ridges in a rock, formed by repeated twinning of crystals.
  2. (countable) (geomorphology) One of a number of parallel scratch lines in rock outcrops, formed when glaciers dragged rocks across the landscape.
    1. The action of marking with a stria.
    2. The result of being marked with a stria.
stromatolite Tweet Definition of stromatolite Like Definition of stromatolite on Facebook
noun
  1. (geology) A rock-like structure built by cyanobacteria.
structural Tweet Definition of structural Like Definition of structural on Facebook
adjective
  1. of, relating to, or having structure
  2. used in building
stylolite Tweet Definition of stylolite Like Definition of stylolite on Facebook
noun
  1. (geology) An irregular surface between strata consisting of toothlike projections; most common in limestone and dolomite
supercontinent Tweet Definition of supercontinent Like Definition of supercontinent on Facebook
noun
  1. a very large continent that split into smaller ones in the earth, Earth"s geologic past.
superposition Tweet Definition of superposition Like Definition of superposition on Facebook
noun
  1. The placing of one thing on top of another
  1. (geology) The deposition of one stratum over another; the principle that in a series of sedimentary strata, the lower strata are the older
swarm Tweet Definition of swarm Like Definition of swarm on Facebook
noun
  1. A large number of insects, especially when in motion or (for bees) migrating to a new colony
  2. A mass of people or animals in turmoil
verb
  1. (intransitive) To move as a swarm
  2. (intransitive) To teem, or be overrun with insects
  3. (intransitive) To climb by gripping with arms and legs
  4. (transitive) To fill a place as a swarm
  5. (transitive) To climb a thing by gripping with arms and legs
  6. (transitive) To overwhelm as by an opposing army
syncline Tweet Definition of syncline Like Definition of syncline on Facebook
nounSyncline
  1. (geology) A concave-upward fold in rock strata
system Tweet Definition of system Like Definition of system on Facebook
noun
  1. A collection of organized things; as, a solar system.
  2. A way of organising or planning.
  3. A whole composed of relationships among the members.
  4. In music, a set of staffs that indicate instruments or sounds that are to be played simultaneously.

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