Geology

A Dictionary of Earth Sciences by Stella A. Stiegeler BSc (eds.)

By Stella A. Stiegeler BSc (eds.)

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Cancrinite. See feldspathoids. canyon. A deep steep-sided section of a river valley, the depth of which considerably exceeds its width, normally found in arid or semiarid regions. They are usually produced where rivers have been deeply incised owing to *antecedence, or as a result of down-cutting by rivers whose sources are located in 42 areas of greater precipitation than those in which the canyons are formed. This continuous external source of water enables efficient downward erosion to proceed, whilst the local lack of precipitation hinders weathering of the sides and hence their degradation.

The wings develop because the rate of advance of the dune barotropic. Denoting the state of the atmosphere when the surfaces of constant pressure are parallel to the surfaces of constant density. Although this is a useful concept in theoretical studies, such an ideal state rarely, if ever, occurs. barrier beach. An elongated accumulation of sand, shingle, or in-situ rock lying roughly parallel to the coast but separated from it by a channel, lagoon, or other water area. The distance offshore may vary from a few metres to several kilometres.

Thin beds and veins of fibrous calcite. See carbonate minerals. belemnite. Any mollusc of the extinct subclass *Belemnoidea. Belemnites are important fossils from rocks of the Mesozoic Era. Belemnoidea. An extinct subclass of marine molluscs of the class *Cephalopoda. With squids and octopuses, they are classified as Coleoidea (or Dibranchiata). They had an internal bulletshaped shell with simple septa dividing it into chambers; this shell is usually the only part of the animal to be fossilized.

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