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Chapter 4 Vocabualry

Chapter 4 Vocabulary

TermDefinition
desalinization the removal of salt (especially from sea water)
hydrologic cycle The water cycle, also known as the hydrologic cycle or the H2O cycle, describes the continuous movement of water on, above and below the surface of the Earth
headwaters a tributary stream of a river close to or forming part of its source
tributary a river or stream flowing into a larger river or lake.
watershed an area or ridge of land that separates waters flowing to different rivers, basins, or seas.
drainage basin river basin: the entire geographical area drained by a river and its tributaries; an area characterized by all runoff being conveyed to the same outlet; "flood control in the Missouri basin"
estuaries the tidal mouth of a large river, where the tide meets the stream.
wetlands land consisting of marshes or swamps; saturated land
groundwater water held underground in the soil or in pores and crevices in rock.
water table the level below which the ground is saturated with water
core the tough central part of various fruits, containing the seeds
mantle a loose sleeveless cloak or shawl, worn esp. by women.
magma hot fluid or semifluid material below or within the earth's crust from which lava and other igneous rock is formed by cooling.
plate tectonics a theory explaining the structure of the earth's crust and many associated phenomena as resulting from the interaction of rigid lithospheric plates that move slowly over the underlying mantle.
continental shelves the area of seabed around a large landmass where the sea is relatively shallow compared with the open ocean. The continental shelf is geologically part of the continental crust.
rift valleys a large elongated depression with steep walls formed by the downward displacement of a block of the earth's surface between nearly parallel faults or fault systems.
abyssal plains An abyssal plain is an underwater plain on the deep ocean floor, usually found at depths between 3000 and 6000 m. Lying generally between the foot of a continental rise and a mid-ocean ridge, abyssal plains cover more than 50% of the Earth’s surface.
continential drift the gradual movement of the continents across the earth's surface through geological time
trench a long, narrow ditch.
folds bend (something flexible and relatively flat) over on itself so that one part of it covers another
faults an unattractive or unsatisfactory feature, esp. in a piece of work or in a person's character.
weathering wear away or change the appearance or texture of (something) by long exposure to the air.
sediment matter that settles to the bottom of a liquid; dregs.
erosion the process of eroding or being eroded by wind, water, or other natural agents.
glaciers a slowly moving mass or river of ice formed by the accumulation and compaction of snow on mountains or near the poles
plateau an area of relatively level high ground.
alluvial fan a fan-shaped mass of alluvium deposited as the flow of a river decreases in velocity
delta a code word representing the letter D, used in radio communication
humus the organic component of soil, formed by the decomposition of leaves and other plant material by soil microorganisms.
leaching (with reference to a soluble chemical or mineral) drain away from soil, ash, or similar material by the action of percolating liquid, esp. rainwater
contour plowing plowing along the contours of the land in order to minimize soil erosion.
soil exhaustion Land degradation is a process in which the value of the biophysical environment is affected by combination of human-induced processes acting upon the land.
crop rotation the action of rotating around an axis or center.
irrigation supplying dry land with water by means of ditches etc
soil salinization Soil salinity is the salt content in the soil; the process of increasing the salt content is known as salination. Salt is a natural element of soils and water. Salination can be caused by natural processes such as mineral weathering or the gradual withdra
deforestation the state of being clear of trees
reforestation the restoration (replanting) of a forest that had been reduced by fire or cutting
acid rain rainfall made sufficiently acidic by atmospheric pollution that it causes environmental harm, typically to forests and lakes. The main cause is the industrial burning of coal and other fossil fuels, the waste gases from which contain sulfur and nitrogen o
aqueducts an artificial channel for conveying water, typically in the form of a bridge supported by tall columns across a valley.
aquifers a body of permeable rock that can contain or transmit groundwater.
fossil water Fossil water or paleowater is groundwater that has remained sealed in an aquifer for a long period of time. Water can rest underground in "fossil aquifers" for thousands or even millions of years
ore a naturally occurring solid material from which a metal or valuable mineral can be profitably extracted.
fossil fuels a natural fuel such as coal or gas, formed in the geological past from the remains of living organisms.
petrochemicals a chemical obtained from petroleum and natural gas.
hydroelectric power Hydroelectricity is the term referring to electricity generated by hydropower; the production of electrical power through the use of the gravitational force of falling or flowing water
geothermal energy energy derived from the heat in the interior of the earth
Created by: ivynthomas