A B C D E F
G H I J K L
M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
- Any vertebrate of the class Amphibia: cold-blooded tetrapods that breathe by means of
gills in the early stages of life and by means of lungs in the later stages.
- Any one of a group of solitary marine, freshwater, and aerial invertebrates belonging to
the phylum Arthropoda, characterized chiefly by jointed appendages and segmented bodies.
Among the typical arthropods are trilobites, crustaceans, chelicerates, and myriapods.
Range, Lower Cambrian to present.
- A fold of rock, generally convex upward, whose core contains the stratigraphically older
- A collection of bones.
- Avalon Zone
- Area of Nova Scotia, including Cape Breton, north of the Cobequid - Chedabucto Fault
- A large, generally discordant plutonic mass that has more than 40sq. mi. (100kmē) of
surface exposure and no known floor. Its formation is believed by most investigators to
involve magmatic processes.
- A general term for the rock, usually solid, that underlies soil or other unconsolidated,
superficial material. A British synonym of the adjectival form is solid, as in solid
- The theory and practice of classifying plants and animals by their chemical nature.
- (a) A large-scale field association or assemblage of different rocks of any age or
origin, having structural relations so intricately involved or otherwise complicated that
the rocks cannot be readily differentiated in mapping. (b) A rock-stratigraphic unit that
includes a mass of rock "composed of diverse types of any class or classes or...
characterized by highly complicated structure"
- Cross section
- A diagram or drawing that shows features transected by a given plane; specifically, a
vertical section drawn at right angles to the longer axis of a geologic feature.
- Crustal Plate
- A thin plate of the outer part of the earth. The depth is much less than the other two
- One in charge of a place of exhibit, such as a zoo or museum.
- The low, nearly flat, alluvial tract of land at or near the mouth of a river, commonly
forming a triangular or fan-shaped plain of considerable area, crossed by many
distributaries of the main river, perhaps extending beyond the general trend of the coast,
and resulting from the accumulation of sediment supplied by the river in such quantities
that it is not removed by tides, waves, and currents. Most deltas are partly subaerial and
partly below water.
- Any reptile of the subclass Archosauria distinguished from other reptiles especially by
features of the pelvic bones. Dinosaurs were carnivorous or herbivorous, bipedal or
quadrupedal, land-dwelling, and of moderate to very large size. Range, Triassic to
- Epoch [geochronologic]
- (a) A geologic-time unit longer than an age and shorter than a period, during which the
rocks of the corresponding series were formed. (b) A term used informally to designate a
length (usually short) of geologic time.
- A long, narrow, sinuous, steep-sided ridge composed of irregularly stratified sand and
gravel that was deposited by a subglacial or englacial stream flowing between ice walls or
in an ice tunnel of a stagnant or retreating glacier, and was left behind when the ice
melted. It may be branching and is often discontinuous, and its course isusually at a high
angle to the edge of the glacier. Eskers range in length from less than 100m to more than
500km (if gaps are included), and in height from 3 to more than 200m.
- (a) The seaward end or the widened funnel-shaped tidal mouth of a river valley where
fresh water comes into contact with seawater and where tidal effects are evident; e.g. a
tidal river, or a partially enclosed coastal body of water where the tide meets the
current of a stream.(b) A portion of an ocean, as a firth or an arm of the sea, affected
by fresh water; e.g. the Baltic Sea. (c) A drowned river mouth formed by the subsidence of
land near the coast or by the drowning of the lower portion of a nonglaciated valley due
to the rise of sea level.
- An external skeleton of an animal, serving as a protective and supportive covering for
its softer parts; e.g. the outer shell of a brachiopod or pelecypod, the system of
sclerites covering the body of an arthropod, or the bony plates covering an armadillo.
- The total disappearance of a species or higher taxon, so that it no longer exists
- Fault [structural geologic]
- A fracture or a zone of fractures along which there has been displacement of the sides
relative to one another parallel to the fracture.
- Fault Line
- The trace of a fault plane on the ground surface or on a reference plane.
- The entire animal population, living or fossil, or a given area, environment, formation,
or time span.
- A mnemonic adjective derived from feldspar + lenad (feldspathoid) + silica + c, and
applied to those minerals (quartz, feldspars, feldspathoids, muscovite) as a group. It is
the complement of mafic.
- Flood Plain
- (a) The surface of strip of relatively smooth land adjacent to a river channel,
constructed by the present river in its existing regimen and covered with water when the
river overflows its banks. It is built of alluvium carried by the river during floods and
deposited in the sluggish water beyond the influence of the swiftest current. A river has
one flood plain and may have one or more terraces representing abandoned flood plains. (b)
Any flat or nearly flat lowland that borders a stream and that may be covered by its
waters at flood stages; the land described by the perimeter of the maximum probably flood.
(c) The part of a lake-basic plain between the shoreline and the shore cliff, subject to
submergence during a high stage of the lake.
- The entire plant population of a given area, environment, formation, or time span.
- Any remains, trace, or imprint of a plant or animal that has been preserved in the
Earth's crust since some past geological or prehistoric time; loosely, any evidence of
- The study of the planet Earth -- the materials of which it is made, the processes that
act on these materials, the products formed, and the history of the planet and its life
forms since its origin. Geology considers the physical forces that act on the Earth, the
chemistry of its constituent materials, and the biology of its past inhabitants as
revealed by fossils.
- (a) The formation, movement, and recession of glaciers or ice sheets. (b) A collective
term for the geologic processes of glacial activity, including erosion and deposition, and
the resulting effects of such action on the earth's surface. <c> A glacial epoch, or
a glacial stage, a part of geologic time during which glaciers were more extensive than at
- A large mass of ice formed, at least in part, on land by the compaction and
recrystallisation of snow, moving slowly downslope or outward in all directions, due to
the stress of its own weight, and surviving from year to year.
- Group [rock]
- The formal lithostratigraphic unit next in rank above formation. A group includes two or
more contiguous or associated formations with significant lithogic features in common. The
type or reference sections of a group re those of its component formations.
- Abbreviation for Geological Survey of Canada.
- The one specimen or other element designated by the author as the nomenclatural type in
describing a new species. As long as the holotype is extant, it automatically fixes the
application of the name concerned.
- The fauna that make trackways.
- The study of trace fossils, especially the study of fossil tracks.
- Said of a rock or mineral that solidified from molten or partly molten material, i.e.
from magma; also, applied to processes leading to, related to, or resulting from the
formation of such rocks. Igneous rocks constitute one of the tree main classes into
which rocks are divided, the others being metamorphic and sedimentary.
- Pertaining to or formed during the time interval between two successive glacial epochs
or between two glacial stages. Ther term implies both the melting of ice sheets to about
their present level, and the maintenance of a warm climate for a sufficient length of time
to permit certain vegatational changes to occur.
- Situated between or surrounded by mountains, mountain ranges, or mountainous regions;
e.g. the Great Basic of the western United States, between the Sierra Nevada and the
- A warmer substage of a glacial stage, marked by a temporary retreat of the ice; "a
climatic episode within a glaciation during which a secondary recession or a stillstand of
glaciers took place"
- Intrusion [igneous]
- The process of emplacement of magma in pre-existing rock; magmatic activity; also, the
igneous rock mass so formed within the surrounding rock.
- An animal belonging to the Invertebrata, i.e. without a backbone, such as the mollusks,
arthropods, and coelenterates.
- A low mound, knob, hummock, or a short irregular ridge, composed of a stratified sand
and gravel deposited by a subglacial stream as a fan or delta at the margin of a melting
glacier; by a superglacial stream in a low place or hole on the surface of the glacier; or
as a ponded deposit on the surface or at the margin of stagnant ice.
- (a) The description of rocks, esp. in hand specimen and in outcrop, on the basis of such
characteristics as color, mineralogic composition, and grain size. (b) The physical
character of a rock.
- Load Cast
- A sole mark, usually measuring less than a meter in any direction, consisting of a
swelling in the shape of a slight bulge, a deep or shallow rounded sack, a knobby
excrescence, a highly irregular protuberance, or a bulbous mammillary or papilliform
protrusion of sand or other coarse clastics, extending downward into finer-grained,
softer, and originally hydroplastic underlying material, such as wet clay, mud, or peat,
that contained an initial depression. It is produced by the exaggeration of the depression
as a result of unequal settling and compaction of the overlying material and by the
partial sinking of such material into the depression, as during the onset of deposition of
a turbidite on unconsolidated mud. A load cast is more irregular than a flute cast (it is
usually not systematically elongated in the current direction), and is characterized by an
absence of a distinction between the upcurrent and the downcurrent ends.
- Said of an igneous rock composed chiefly of one or more ferromagnesian, dark-colored
minerals in its mode; also, said of those minerals. It is the complement of felsic.
- Naturally occurring mobile rock material, generated within the Earth and capable of
intrusion and extrusion, from which igneous rocks are thought to have been derived through
solidification and related processes. It may or may not contain suspended solids (such as
crystals and rock fragments) and/or gas phases.
- Meguma Zone
- Area of Nova Scotia south of the Cobequid - Chedabucto Fault System.
- The mineralogical, chemical, and structural adjustment of solid rocks to physical and
chemical conditions which have generally been imposed at depths below the surface zones of
weathering and cementation, and which differ from the conditions under which the rocks in
question originated. In an older and now more obsolete sense, the scope of the term
included katamorphism, i.e. the processes of cementation and weathering.
- A sediment or sedimentary rock that shows evidence of having been subjected to
- An order of lepspondylous amphibians characterized by small size (thus the
"micro") and a salamander or snake-like body form. Earlier literature includes
early and primitive reptiles in this group which is erroneous.
- A mound, ridge, or other distint accumulation of unsorted, unstratified glacial drift,
deposited chiefly by direct action of glacier ice. The geomorphic name for a landform
composed mainly of till that has been deposited by either a living or extinct glacier.
- A term used in geology to denote age: millions of years ago.
- The process of formation of mountains, including thrusting, folding, and faulting in the
outer and higher layers, and plastic folding, metamorphism and plutonism in the inner and
- The accumulation of sediments horizontally (on a plane), such as a delta.
- Outwash Plain
- A broad, gently sloping sheet of outwash deposited by meltwater streams flowing in front
of or beyond a glacier, and formed by coalescing outwash fans; the surface of a broad body
- A branch of palaeontology dealing with the study of fossils as organisms rather than as
features of historical geology.
- The study of plant life of the geological history.
- An environment in the geological past.
- The study of organic walled microfossils; e.g. pollens, spores, algae.
- The study of life in past geological time, based on fossil plants and animals and
including phylogeny, their relationships to existing plants, animals, and environments,
and the chronology of the Earth's history.
- A drawing, sketch, or diagram of any object or structure, especially, a very large-scale
and considerably detailed map of a small area.
- Plate tectonics
- A theory of global tectonics in which the lithosphere is divided into a number of plates
whose pattern of horizontal movement is that of torsionally rigid bodies that interact
with one another at their boundaries, causing seismic and tectonic activity along these
- To separate from solution in solid form. Minerals may precipitate because of cooling,
evaporation, or loss of acidity
- Prefix meaning early.
- Pertaining to the clastic rock material formed by volcanic explosion or aerial expulsion
from a volcanic vent; also, pertaining to rock texture of explosive origin. It is not
synonymous with the adjective "volcanic".
- Also called upwarping, this is the uplift of a regional area of the Earth's crust,
usually as a result of the release of isostatic pressure, e.g. melting of an ice sheet.
- Any vertebrate of the class Reptilia; cold-blooded tetrapods that are air-breathing at
all stages of development. Range, Pennsylvanian to present.
- Rock Hammer
- A hammer specially designed for geological work. One end is used for breaking or
chipping rocks and the other (either a pick or chisel) for prying or splitting rocks
- (a) Solid fragmental material that originates from weathering of rocks and is
transported or deposited by air, water, or ice, or that accumulates by other natural
agents, such as chemical precipitation from solution or secretion by organisms, and that
forms in layers on the Earth's surface at ordinary temperatures in a loose, unconsolidated
form, e.g. sand, gravel, silt, mud, till, loess, alluvium. (b) Strictly, solid
material that has settled down from a state of suspension in a liquid.
- (a) Pertaining to or containing sediment. (b) Formed by the deposition of sediment, or
pertaining to the process of sedimentation. (c) A sedimentary rock.
- Location; used here to define an area where fossils may be found.
- (a) A liquid containing dissolved substances. (b) The process by which a solid, liquid,
or gaseous substance is mixed with a liquid.
- One of multiple scratches or minute lines, generally parallel, inscribed on a rock
surface by a geologic agent, i.e. glaciers, streams, or faulting.
- (a) The science of rock strata. It is concerned not only with the original succession
and age relations of rock strata but also with their form, distribution, lithologic
composition, fossil content, geophysical and geochemical properties -- indeed, with all
characters and attributes of rocks as strata; and their interpretation in terms of
environment or mode of origin, and geologic history. All classes of rocks, consolidated or
unconsolidated, fall within the general scope of stratigraphy. Some nonstratiform rock
bodies are considered because of their association with or close relation to rock strata.
(b) The arrangement of strata, esp. as to geographic position and chronologic order of
sequence. (c) The sum of the characteristics studied in stratigraphy; the part of the
geology of an area or district pertaining to the character of its stratified rocks. (d) A
term sometimes used to signify the study of historical geology.
- Succession, stratigraphic
- (a) A number of rock units or a mass of strata that succeed one another in chronologic
order; e.g. an inclusive stratigraphic sequence involving any number of stages, series,
systems or parts thereof, as shown graphically in a geologic column or seen in an exposed
section. (b) The chronologic order of rock units.
- Supergroup [rock]
- An assemblage of related groups, or of formations and groups, having significant
lithologic features in common.
- A fold of rock, of which the core contains the stratigraphically younger rocks,
generally concave upward.
- The mark made by the dragging of a tail, often seen as a fossil between footprints.
- The theory and practice of classifying plants and animals.
- A branch of geology dealing with the broad architecture of the outer part of the Earth,
that is, the regional assembling of structural or deformational features, a study of their
mutual relations, origin, and historical evolution.
- A four footed animal.
- Tide Table
- A table displaying the estimated times for high and low tides.
- Dominantly unsorted and unstratified drift, generally unconsolidated, deposited directly
by and underneath a glacier without subsequent reworking by meltwater, and consisting of a
heterogeneous mixture of clay, silt, sand, gravel, and boulders ranging widely in size and
- Trace Fossil
- A sedimentary structure consisting of a fossilized track, trail, burrow, tube, boring,
or tunnel resulting from the life activities (other than growth) of an animal, such as a
mark made by an invertebrate moving, creeping, feeding, hiding, browsing, running, or
resting on or in soft sediment. It is often preserved as a raised or depressed form in
- A continuous series of tracks left by a single organism.
- A general term for all consolidated pyroclastic rocks.
- Turbidity Current
- A density current in water, air, or other fluid, caused by different amounts of matter
in suspension, such as a dry-snow avalanche or a descending cloud of valcanic dust;
specif. a bottom-flowing current laden with suspended sediment, moving swiftly (under the
influence of gravity) down a subaqueous slope and spreading horizontally on the floor of
the body of water, having been set and/or maintained in motion by locally churned- or
stirred-up sediment that gives the water a density greater than that of the surrounding or
overlying clear water. Such currents are known to occur in lakes, and are believed to have
produced the submarine canyons notching the continental slope. They appear to originate in
various ways, such as by storm waves, tsunamis, earthquake-induced sliding, tectonic
movement, over-supply of sediment, and heavily charged rivers in spate with dessities
exceeding that of sea water.
- Turbidity Flow
- A tongue-like flow of dense, muddy water moving down a slope.
- Said of strata or stratification exhibiting the relation of unconformity to the older
underlying rocks; not succeeding the underlying rocks in immediate order or age or not
fitting together with them as parts of a continuous whole. In the strict sense, the term
is applied to younger strata that do not "conform" in position or that do not
have the same dip and strike as those of the immediate underlying rocks.
- Having the same form as others.
- The building-up of a sedimentary deposit, as by a stream or in the ocean.
- Uplift [tectonic]
- A structurally high area in the crust, produced by positive movements that raise or
upthrust the rocks, as in a dome or arch.
- Any animal belonging to Vertebrata, characterized by internal skeleton of cartilage or
bone, and specialized organization of the anterior end of the animal.