Glossary of selected terms for Karst, Geology, Hydrogeology, and Drilling

14C Method (Metoda Carbon 14)

A method for determining the age in years of organic matter by calculating the amount of radioactive carbon still remaining, as compared to the stable isotope, 12C

Abandonment (abandonare a unui foraj/închiderea unui foraj)

The plugging of a well and the restoration of a well site. Several steps are involved in abandoning a well; part of the casing may be removed and salvaged; one or more cement plugs are placed in the borehole to prevent migration of water/fluids between the different formations penetrated by the borehole; and the well is abandoned.

Activated carbon (carbon activ)

A granular material usually produced by the roasting of cellulose base substances, such as wood or coconut shells, in the absence of air. It has an extremely porous structure and is used in water conditioning as an adsorbent for organic matter and certain dissolved gases. Sometimes is called "activated charcoal."

Active cave (Peșteră activă)

Cave containing a running stream.

Air drilling (Metodă de foraj cu aer sub presiune)

A drilling technique whereby gases (typically compressed air) are used to cool the drill bit and lift cuttings out of the borehole, instead of the more conventional use of liquids. The advantages of air drilling are that it is usually much faster than drilling with liquids and it may eliminate lost circulation problems. The disadvantages are the inability to control the influx of formation fluids into the borehole and the destabilization of the borehole wall in the absence of the borehole pressure typically provided by liquids.

Air stripping

A mass transfer process in which a substance in solution in water is transferred to solution in a gas, usually air.

Albian (albian)

European stage of the uppermost Lower Cretaceous, spanning the time between 107 and 95 million years ago.

Alkaline (alcalin)

Any of various soluble mineral salts found in natural water and arid soils having a pH greater than 7. In water analysis, it represents the carbonates, bicarbonates, hydroxides, and occasionally the borates, silicates, and phosphates in the water.

Aven (aven/puț vertical)

A vertical or highly inclined shaft in limestone, extending downwards from the land surface.  In France, aven is equivalent to the British term, pothole.

Bats, Snake, Spiders (lilieci, șerpi,păianjeni)

If the viewers of this webpage find various omissions or incorrect definitions, it would be greatly appreciated if the corrections be forwarded to us so that the webpage may be updated. In no instance is it intended that the work of others be appropriated.

Bauxite (bauxită)

A reddish-brown (or grayish, brown, yellow), rock composed of a mixture of various amorphous or crystalline hydrous aluminum oxides and aluminum hydroxides (principally gibbsite, some boehmite and diaspore), along with free silica, silt, iron hydroxides, and esp. clay minerals; a highly aluminous laterite (Bates, 1995)

Borehole (galerie largă/foraj, gaură de sondă)

Synonim for a well developed phreatic tube passage (Field, 2002). Term used by cavers for large horizontal passages.

Cave (peșteră)

A cave is a natural underground space at least 5 meters deep or long. Caves are typically formed by dissolution of carbonates or evaporites rocks by surface water or groundwater. Tectonic conditions (joints and faults) are a major factor in the karst process.

Charcoal bag (săculeț cu cărbune activ folosit pentru captarea trasorilor)

Elevation/altitude (altitudine)

The vertical distance from a datum (usually mean sea level) to a point or object on the Earth's surface; esp. the height of a ground point above the level of the sea. The term is used synonymously with altitude in referring to distance above sea level, but in modern surveying practice the term ''elevation'' is preferred to indicate heights on the Earth's surface whereas ''altitude'' is used to indicate the heights of points in space above the Earth's surface.

Limestone (calcar)

This is the short descrption of limestone, it will show up only in the term listing page

Polje (polie)

Polje is a large closed depression with a flat floor covered by alluvium, traversed by a stream/river.  A karst spring feeds the stream/river, which sinks underground on the other side of the polje. During heavy rains, when the swallow hole (ponor) that drains the stream/river cannot manage the runoff, an intermittent lake is formed. Polje size ranges between hundreds of meters up to tens of kilometers. The main distinction between a polje and a closed depression is the presence of a stream/river, which flows across the polje. The polje means field in Serbo-Croatian. For polje, the Spanish term hoya (hoyo) is used in Cuba, and wang in Malaysian.


Pothole/pit/shaft/well/vertical cave (aven/puț vertical)

A cave containing vertical or nearly vertical shafts open to the surface, commonly but not necessarily at the entrance. Aven is equivalent to the British term, pothole. Compare cenote; natural well; pothole. 3. (British.) A vertical extension from a shaft in a passage or chamber roof that tapers upward rather likes a very elongate cone. Syn: pot, fissure cave, natural well, sótano; gouffre, abîme, cenote

Sand (nisip)

Sand: mineral grains with diameters between 0.074 mm (retained on U.S. standard sieve no.200) and 4.76 mm (passing U.S. standard sieve no.4) (Bates et al., 1980).

Sinkhole/doline (dolină)

Sinkhole is a funnel-shaped/circular depression in a karst area, meters to tens of meters in size, with subterranean drainage (Glossary of Geology).

Stylolite (stilolite)

Swallow Hole/Ponor (ponor/pierdere)

Underground stream (râu subteran)

Water Level (nivelul apei)

Water Level (Water Table). The surface between the vadose zone and the phreatic zone (groundwater); that surface of a body of unconfined groundwater at which the pressure is equal to that of the atmosphere (Driscoll, 1987).

Water Table (Acvifer cu nivel liber)

The surface between the vadose zone and the groundwater; that surface of a body of unconfined groundwater at which the pressure is equal to that of the atmosphere.