Wondrous Words Wednesday: geology (1)

Wondrous Words Wednesday is a weekly meme where we share new (to us) and interesting (to us, again) words we encountered in our readings. See this week round-up at BermudaOnion’s blog!

My words for this week come from Pompeii by Robert Harris (my review), which I read as part of the geology/volcanology theme for One! Two! Theme! Challenge. Harris did not use many technical words, but he opens each chapter with a quote from an encyclopedic/technical book on the subject, and that’s where these words come from (original source at the bottom of each quote).


… with volatile-rich alkalic magma (55 percent SiO2 and almost 10 percent K2O) overlying slightly denser, more mafic magma.
(Peter Frances, Volcanoes: A Planetary Perspective)

Mafic: adj. Geology relating to or denoting a group of dark-coloured, mainly ferromagnesian minerals such as pyroxene and olivine. Often contrasted with felsic.


Convection carried incandescant [sic] gas and pumice clasts to a height of 28 km.
(Burkhard Mueller-Ullrich (editor), Dynamics of Volcanism)

Clast: n. Geology a constituent fragment of a clastic rock.
Clastic: adj. Geology denoting rocks composed of broken pieces of older rocks.


(All definitions are taken from the Concise Oxford English Dictionary © 2008 via WordReference.com unless otherwise stated.)


6 comments on “Wondrous Words Wednesday: geology (1)

  1. Geology would be a particularly rich source of words I don’t know, as I don’t know anything really about geology. I have seen clast/clastic used in osteoclast/osteoclastic. An osteoclast is a cell that breaks down bone.

  2. @ Joy and Annie: I studied a bit of geology in high-school but at the time I wasn’t interested and I cannot recall anything. Especially not words. It’s fascinating to discover everything again.

    @ Louise: that’s a word I would understand, but never saw before. I hope you didn’t learn it for an unpleasant reason.

  3. Those are all new to me! I doubt I’ll have the opportunity to use them any time soon. Thanks for playing along!

Ditelo con parole vostre/Let your words be heard

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