Geological Terms Beginning With "Z"
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A group of hydrous aluminosilicates that are similar to the
feldspars. They easily lose and regain their water of hydration
and they fuse and swell when heated. Zeolites are frequently used
in water softening, ion exchange and absorbent applications.
A term used in reference to the mineral sphalerite.
A mineral, zirconium silicate. A hard mineral with a high
index of refraction that is used as a gemstone and as an ore of zirconium.
A crystal that grew while temperatures were changing or while
the composition of the parent solution was changing. Crystals of
these minerals can have a range of compositions, with a certain
chemistry in the center reflecting the early growth conditions and
the outer chemistry reflecting the later growth conditions. Minerals
such as olivine or plagioclase which have a solid solution series
frequently form such crystals.
Zone of Aeration:
A zone between the land surface and the water table where
pore spaces are filled mainly with air. Water that exists in the
pore space in this zone is referred to as "soil moisture".
Zone of Saturation:
The zone beneath the water table where all pore spaces are
completely filled with water. Water that exists within this zone
is known as "ground water".
Zone of Weathering:
A subsurface area, above the water table, where mineral and organic
materials are subject to weathering.
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