A downslope movement of soil and rock debris that is confined to a well-defined "chute" and spreads out over the run-out area in the form of a lobe. The material is mostly fine-grained and moves as a "flow" instead of as a rotating mass. Most earthflows are have a very high moisture content but dry flows are also possible.
A trembling of the earth caused by a sudden release of energy stored in subsurface rock units. This release of energy usually occurs when the subsurface rock units break to form a fault or when movement on an existing fault occurs.
A tidal current that generally moves seaward and occurs during the part of the tide cycle when sea level is falling. (see also: flood tide)
A stream that gains water from ground water flow. These streams are typical of humid climates where water tables are high. The discharge of an effluent stream can be sustained by ground water flow for long periods of time between runoff-producing rainfall or snowmelt. Effluent streams generally increase in discharge downstream and contain water throughout the year. The opposite is an influent stream.
The maximum stress that can be applied to a body without resulting in permanent deformation - the rock reverts to its original shape after the stress is removed. In the case of a fault or a fold the elastic limit is exceeded and the deformation becomes a permanent structure of the rock.
Elastic Rebound Theory
A theory that explains the earthquake process. In this theory, slowly accumulating elastic strain builds within a rock mass over an extended length of time. This strain is suddenly released through fault movement, producing an earthquake.
A subatomic particle with a negative charge and of negligible mass that orbits the nucleus of an atom.
The vertical distance between mean sea level and a point or object on, above or below Earth's surface. The image of the topographic map has brown lines that represent elevations above sea level.
A term used in reference to the wind. Eolian materials and structures are created, moved and deposited by the wind.
The major divisions of the geologic time scale. Eons are divided into intervals know as "eras". Two eons of the geologic time scale are the Phanerozoic (570 million years ago to present) and the Cryptozoic (4,600 million years ago until 570 million years ago).
A stream that flows for a short interval of time after precipitation or snow melt in the immediate area. Ephemeral streams carry runoff water. Their channels are above the water table and they normally receive no contribution from ground water.
The point on the Earth's surface directly above the focus of an earthquake. It is often - but not always - the location where the strength of the earthquake's shaking is most intensely felt.
A clay or a clay soil that expands when water is added and contracts when it dries out. This volume change when in contact with buildings, roadways, or underground utilities can cause severe damage.
The work of identifying areas that may contain viable mineral resources. This work can include surface mapping, remote sensing, exploratory drilling, geophysical testing, geochemical testing and other activities.
Drilling done to locate mineral deposits in an area where little subsurface data about those minerals is available. Exploratory wells may not have the ability to produce the minerals if they are discovered.
Industries involved in mineral resource exploration, acquisition, assessment, development or production.
Igneous rocks that crystallize at Earth's surface.