Yellowstone and the Great West: Journals, Letters, and Images from the 1871 Hayden Expedition

By Marlene Deahl Merrill | Go to book overview

Glossary of Geological Terms and Fossil Shells
Several sources were consulted in order to define the geological terms found in the Allen and Peale journals in a readily accessible manner: The American Heritage Dictionary ( Boston, 1976, 1985, 1992); The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Earth Sciences, edited by Ailsa Allaby and Michael Allaby( Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991); and The Dictionary of Geological Terms, edited by Robert L. Bates and Julia A. Jackson ( New York: Doubleday, 1984). The geologic table is adapted from the Bates and Jackson dictionary.GEOLOGICAL TERMS
agate: a fine-grained, fibrous variety of chalcedony with colored bands or irregular clouding.
alluvium: sediment deposited by flowing water, as in a riverbed, floodplain, or delta.
anticline: a fold, generally convex and upward, whose core contains stratigraphically older rocks.
amygdaloidal spaces: spheroidal, ellipsoidal, or almond-shaped cavities in a lava flow.
auriferous: containing gold.
basalt: a hard, dense, dark volcanic rock, often having a glossy appearance.
breccia: literally, "rubble"; a rock composed of sharp-angled fragments cemented in a fine matrix.
calcareous: composed of calcium carbonate, calcite, or limestone; chalky.
chalcedony: a translucent to transparent milky or grayish quartz with distinctive microscopic crystals arranged in slender fibers in parallel bands.
chlorite: a generally green or black secondary mineral often formed by metamorphic alteration of primary dark minerals.
conglomerate: a rock consisting of pebbles and gravel, generally embedded in a sandy matrix; one variety is called "pudding stone."

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