Arkose: A variety of sandstone containing abundant feldspar and quartz, frequently inangular, poorly sorted grains.Arroyo: A steep-sided and flat-bottomed gulley in an arid region that is occupied by astream only intermittently, after rains.Artesian well: A well that penetrates an aquiclude to reach an aquifer containing water under pressure. Thus water in the well rises above the surrounding water table.Astrobleme: A circular erosional feature that has been ascribed to the impact of ameteorite or comet.Atmosphere (unit): A unit of pressure equal to 101,325 newtons per square meter, or about 14.7 pounds per square inch.Atoll: A continuous or broken circle of coral reef and low coral islands surrounding acentral lagoon.
- B -
Backwash: The return flow of water down a beach after a wave has broken.Banded iron ore: A sediment consisting of layers of chert alternating with bands of ferriciron oxides (hematite and limonite) in valuable concentrations.Bankfull stage: The height of water in a stream that just corresponds to the level of thesurrounding floodplain.Bar: A unit of pressure equal to 10 to the sixth dynes/square centimeter; approximatelyone atmosphere.Bar (stream): An accumulation of sediment, usually sandy, which forms at the borders or in the channels of streams or offshore from a beach.Barchan: A crescent-shaped sand dune moving across a clean surface with its convex faceupwind and its concave slip face downwind.Bar-finger sand: An elongated lens of sand deposited during the growth of a distributaryin a delta. The bar at the distributary mouth is the growing segment of the bar finger.Barrier island: A long, narrow island parallel to the shore, composed of sand and built bywave action.