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How can I be sure that the materials I receive will be of the specifications I require?

All materials are pre-qualified before an order is placed. The materials for your order will be purchased beforehand, checked and kept in stock per customer contract.

How can I ensure that the material I require will not contain any undesired impurities?

If you require it, we would be more than happy to work with you on a technical level in order to ensure that your materials are exactly what you need.

A word about ISO…

Chivine Resources is looking forward to being both ISO and GMP certified in the near future. As for our sources, we have many different sources and each may or may not be ISO certified. We can, however, guarantee that if you require a product from an ISO certified source, we will get you that product and any documents of certification you need.


What company do you use for your logistics?

Chivine is in contact with multiple well-established logistics companies; the reason for this is because we are a global based business and every company may have different rates for each region of the Earth and may follow different procedures for your own specific requirements.

What happens if I don’t receive my order?(bulk materials order)

The materials for your order will be purchased beforehand, checked and kept in stock per customer contract. Shipment of orders are scheduled according to your own production schedule or other needs.


Industry Abbreviation Guide: (C.)=Ceramics (Env)=Environment (G)=Glass (OG)=Optical Glass (M)=Mining (Mtg)=Metallurgical (P)=Plastic (PC)=Personal Care
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Agriculture: The industry of agriculture includes anything involved in the business of cultivating and harvesting food products, which mainly consist of plants and animals, but also includes medicinal herbs and plants. Furthermore, the industries of agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting are considered by the North American Industry Classification System a single sector and a part of the natural resources and mining super-sector.

Aquifer: An aquifer is a substrate or permeable rock in which water can enter and remain. For more reading on the topics of aquifers and groundwater, visit the USGS page: (link), https://water.usgs.gov/edu/earthgwaquifer.html

Aquifer (Example from wikipedia):

The beach provides a model to help visualize an aquifer. If a hole is dug into the sand, very wet or saturated sand will be located at a shallow depth. This hole is a crude well, the wet sand represents an aquifer, and the level to which the water rises in this hole represents the water table.

Arkose: Arkose is sandstone with a feldspar content of 25% or more; the feldspar grains are often pink.


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Base Metal: Base metals are typically inexpensive, common metals that react with HCl and oxidize when exposed to air. These include: aluminum, copper, lead, nickel, tin, zinc.

Please note that this list may vary from one occupational/regulatory/other department to another. In economics, iron (and all ferrous metal) is not considered a base metal, while the United States Border & Customs considers not only iron, but also several other transition metals to be base metals!

Base Metal (metallurgic): A base metal in metallurgical terms can either be the dominant metal in an alloy combo, or the metal the is at the center of a coating.

Bathymetry: Measurement of ocean depth as displayed on certain maps, 3D diagrams, or the topography of the ocean floor.

Beneficiation: (M) Beneficiation also called benefication is any treatment or process which works to improve the value and chemical properties of an ore.

Bi-refringence (OG): A material with birefringence properties has a refractive index that depends on the polarization and propagation direction of light. When being prepared for optical applications, birefringent materials need to be cut in a certain way in order to remove any undesirable effects.
* Magnesium Fluoride is a birefringent optical material.


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Ceramics Industry: The ceramics industry encompasses, but is not limited to, the following sub-categories: classical ceramics, construction ceramics, consumer ceramics, glass, glass (optical), and technical ceramics. Although the manufacturing business places glass (manufacturing) under the ceramics category, this site will generally refer to glass as its own industry.

Ceramic FluxA ceramic flux works to encourage partial liquefaction and to lower the glass formers melting point. This saves energy and in turn increases the efficiency of production.

Chelating Agent: A chelating agent can form several bonds to a single metal ion. Chelating agents can occur naturally or be created by humans and other living creatures. Some plants capable of selective heavy metal chelation have been incorporated in bio-remediation projects.


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Dimensionless Number: A dimensionless number is a number with no physical units. The number does not change if the units are changed. You commonly encounter dimensionless numbers as ratios and quantities. The concept is useful when establishing values for trade and currency.

Currency & Trade:

Example: for helping out as a new low-level assistant, you may earn $10 an hour for your efforts. The compared units are: (level of efforts + time) and ($). You can further say that $10 may allow you to buy 5 notebooks. The second example compares ($) to (notebook).

Deliquescent: Deliquescent substances will attract water to them from their surroundings (which includes the atmosphere) to the point of liquefying themselves. Some examples include: zinc chloride, potassium chloride, sodium hydroxide, and many other salts.

Drilling Fluid: Drilling fluids, or drilling muds, are muds or slurries that are added to wellbores in order to control pressure, cool the drill bit, provide lubrication, add buoyancy, and stabilize exposed rock. The drilling mud also serves to bring up rock cuttings by hydrolic pressure.


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Earth’s Changing Poles: The Earth, like the sun, periodically changes it polarity in process generally called “magnetic reversal”. So it is important to note that the Earth’s geographical pole and its magnetic pole are not the same thing!

How Magnetic Reversals Affect Earth:

Sediment cores taken from deep ocean floors can tell scientists about magnetic polarity shifts, providing a direct link between magnetic field activity and the fossil record. The Earth’s magnetic field determines the magnetization of lava as it is laid down on the ocean floor on either side of the Mid-Atlantic Rift where the North American and European continental plates are spreading apart. As the lava solidifies, it creates a record of the orientation of past magnetic fields much like a tape recorder records sound. The last time that Earth’s magnetic poles flipped in a major reversal was about 780,000 years ago, in what scientists call the Brunhes-Matuyama reversal. The fossil record shows no drastic changes in plant or animal life. Deep ocean sediment cores from this period also indicate no changes in glacial activity, based on the amount of oxygen isotopes in the cores. This is also proof that a polarity reversal would not affect the rotation axis of Earth, as the planet’s rotation axis tilt has a significant effect on climate and glaciation and any change would be evident in the glacial record.

Visit: (link) for more reading on this topic https://www.nasa.gov/topics/earth/features/2012-poleReversal.html

Electrochemistry: Electrochemistry is the study of chemical processes that cause electrons to move (electricity).

Electromagnetism: Electromagnetism, a branch of physics primarily concerned with the study of electromagnetic force. is considered one of the fundamental

Electromagnetic Force: Electromagnetic Force is considered one of the four fundamental forces (of nature). It is the physical interaction (force) between electrically charged particles. This force can be either attractive or repulsive, has an indefinite range, but is limited in strength by the distance between the particles (strength is inversely proportional to the inverse square of the distance). Check out “real-world” questions related to electromagnetism here (link: http://www.chegg.com/homework-help/definitions/electromagnetic-force-2)


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Frit: (C.) In ceramics, a frit is a combination of materials added to the glaze materials in order to decrease their solubility and minimize their toxicity. Some frits may also increase stability within a glaze. For more info about ceramic glazes and definitions check out this link at digitalfire.com.

Ferro-magnetism: Ferro-magnetism is a theory which explains how certain materials are attracted to or will form magnets. Some ferro-magnetic materials include: iron, cobalt, nickel and several species of rare earths. (See: hysteresis)

Ferromagnetic materials

exhibit a long-range ordering phenomenon at the atomic level which causes the unpaired electron spins to line up parallel with each other in a region called a domain. Within the domain, the magnetic field is intense, but in a bulk sample the material will usually be unmagnetized because the many domains will themselves be randomly oriented with respect to one another.

Learn more about ferro-magnetism and the physics of magnetism at this insightful site: Click here http://hyperphysics.phy-astr.gsu.edu/hbase/Solids/ferro.html

Frost line: The frost line is a term used to describe the level in which the ground water is likely to freeze. The level can vary depending many factors such as: climate, soil/ ground components, nearby structures and heat sources, and more. The frost line in consistently cold regions such as the arctic, exist all year round and are called “permafrost”.


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Geophysicist: Geophysicists gather, study, and draw conclusions from data collected from and about our Earth. The results may be used to find natural resources, help evaluate construction sites, or be used for various research purposes. For example, by studying the movement of the tectonic plates we may not only gain a bit of insight into Earth’s history, but we can also begin to speculate if Africa really is going to crash into Europe in the future.

Graviton: Gravitons are mass-less hypothetical entities capable of carrying energy and enforcing the force of gravity. They are comparable to photons, mass-less entities that affect electrons and enforce electromagnetism.

Want to learn more about gravitons? Check out this article: (link) http://io9.gizmodo.com/what-are-gravitons-and-why-cant-we-see-them-1643904640


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Hysteresis: Hysteresis is a ferro-magnetic property where the magnetized ferro-magnetic material’s magnetization level will not revert back to zero on its own after being externally magnetized. This must be done with another magnetic field in the opposite direction.

Hydrothermal Vents: Hydrothermal vents occur deep under the sea, often where tectonic plates have formed an undersea mountain range (called a mid-ocean-ridge). The sea water percolates through the fissures and may be heated up to 700°F. Due to the high undersea pressure, the water does not boil but instead reemerges, usually bring up streams of particles with it. Many obscure sea creatures live in the harsh environments around these vents and survive by means of chemosynthesis rather than photosynthesis.

* Hydrothermal vents have redefined and greatly expanded the range and conditions in which scientists previously deemed “liveable”. This insight opens the door to possibilities of finding or introducing life in space, and in any other ‘absent of all light’ or otherwise extreme environment. -Who knows, maybe one day we will be the ones in need of the resulting technology for our own survival…

Black & White

“Black smokers” are chimneys formed from deposits of iron sulfide, which is black. A venting black smoker emits jets of particle-laden fluids. The particles are predominantly very fine-grained sulfide minerals formed when the hot hydrothermal fluids mix with near-freezing seawater. These minerals solidify as they cool, forming chimney-like structures. “White smokers” are chimneys formed from deposits of barium, calcium, and silicon, which are white. -NOAA http://oceanservice.noaa.gov/facts/vents.html read more

Hydroxymethylfurfural: Hydroxymethylfurfural is a volatile chemical that can be obtained from the decomposition of certain sugars, such as sucrose. Many devastating explosions have occurred in sugar silos and in factory settings where dust had a tendency to accumulate and become -in a sense- a ticking time-bomb. In fact, many recipes for at home fireworks will call for table sugar.


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Impervious Surface: In geological terms, an impervious surface is an area of ground covered in a surface such as cement, that prevents the natural flow and absorption of water into the ground. A naturally occurring version of this is called an “impervious layer”. In either case, engineers and architects should keep in mind the amount of surface area in which impervious ground cover spans, and plan ahead for the channeling of this excess water.

Isomorphous: An isomorphic pair of minerals share the same crystal form (similar shape), but have different specific elemental compositions. For example: SrO4 and SrO4.
* Also see polymorphous

Induratation: A process in which rock is heated, pressurized, or otherwise solidified into a harder material.


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Jet: Jet is a black mineral that is soft and light. It was commonly used to make mourning jewelry for mourners of Victorian England, especially around the 1800s.

Read more here: http://io9.gizmodo.com/love-after-death-the-beautiful-macabre-world-of-mourn-1498829544 (link)



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Kame: A kame is a deposited mound of sand or gravel that was once in or on top of an ice sheet or glacier.

Kaolinite/ Kaolin: Kaolin is a clay material also known as “china clay”. It is a popular material and can be used in porcelain, paper manufacturing,
and in lesser quantities, as a personal care ingredient. The latter application takes advantage of common trace elements naturally occurring (and probably some added synthetically) in kaolin and thus personal care kaolin can be bought in various colors including: red, pink, green, yellow, and white.

Visit our page: here

Karst: A karst is a landscape formed over time by the dissolution of soluble rocks, minerals, or other material in the ground, such as limestone. While some karsts may have obvious physical indicators on the surface, others exist solely underground and may not be discovered until other forces make them apparent, such as in the case of sinkholes. A few indicators of an underground karst include: dry soil due to subterranean drainage and large depressions in the land caused by underground instability.

Fascinating Kasrt Landscapes:

More than just geological jargon, karsts often create intriguing landscapes.

By Hugo Soria – wikipedia.fr Hugo Soria, (Link)

By Reinhard Kraasch – Transferred from de.wikipedia to Commons., (Link)

The Chocolate Hills are conical karst hills in Bohol, Philippines. It is widely believed that a combination of rivers,(which formed after tectonic processes uplifted the land above the sea), and water from the ground, rain, and surface eroded and dissolved the limestone and sculpted the hills. Numerous shallow-water marine fossils make up some of this limestone content, fueling several other theories of how the chocolate hills were formed have emerged.

By Nonoyborbun – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, (Link)

Kettle: In geological terms, a kettle is a depression formed by the melting of glacial deposits left by receding glaciers.

Kimberlite: Kimberlite is an igneous rock of the peridotite variety believed to form within the Earth’s mantle. Structures known as kimberlite pipes are an important source of diamond.

Kimberlite Pipe aka “Diamond Pipe”

A vertical structure beneath the site of a volcanic eruption, that was formed when rock material and magma from a mantle-source eruption passed upwards through the crust and erupted through the surface. It is often filled with brecciated volcanic rock which might include kimberlite or lamproite. – http://geology.com/dictionary/glossary-k.shtml more from geology.com


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Lahar: Lahars are slurries of debris that may spontaneously roll off from volcanic slopes. As they travel they constantly change in consistency and may pick up extra water, rocks, sediment, and speed as they travel and become very destructive.

Lava Tube: Lava tubes are natural channels formed by flowing lava; these can either be active (still full of lava and draining) or inactive (empty tunnels). The curbs on the wall indicate past levels of lava flow. The empty caves and tunnels provide a unique habitat for many species, and also an opportunity for adventure –check out the National Park Service website for information on sites to visit, lava tube formation information, history and culture around caves, and more! (link) https://www.nps.gov/labe/index.htm/span>

Limestone: Limestone is a sedimentary rock primarily composed of calcium carbonate minerals. It can be formed either chemically, by marine organism deposits, or synthetically. Visit our page Specialty Chemicals> Calcium Carbonate for more information.

Lithosphere: The lithosphere is the outermost layer of the Earth and includes both the crust and the upper mantle. The lithosphere can be described as varying in depth, relatively cool, and is divided into pieces called tectonic plates.


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Maar: A maar is a volcanic crater that forms when magma contacts groundwater to produce a steam explosion. When more water flows into the crater it will react with any remaining magma, resulting in more explosions. The steam-exploded materials usually land around the maar and sometimes form an ingenious rock called “tuff”, which is thickest towards the crater and thins out in a radial manner. Over time maars often form lakes. Visit: (link) http://geology.com/stories/13/maar/ for more details.

Malachite: Malachite is green copper carbonate.

By Didier Descouens – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, Link

Magnetic North: *See “Earth’s Poles” under ‘E’

Magnteostriction: You know that humming noise from fluorescent light ballasts that you usually tune out or otherwise would be driven insane by? Well, the effect that is responsible for the hum is called magnetostriction; the humming occurs as a mechanical reaction when a magnetic field is imposed upon the transformer material.

Magnetostratigraphy: Magnetostratigraphy is subject primarily concerned with the magnetic properties of rock bodies. The principles can be used to study Earth’s past polarity reversals.

Methane Hydrate: Methane hydrate is can be summarized as methane trapped in ice that formed via biogenic (biological) or thermogenic (geologic) processes. Internationally, is being looked into as a potential new source of energy, as it possesses a greater level of energy than possibly all fossil fuels. Informative sites: http://geology.com/articles/methane-hydrates/, https://energy.gov/fe/science-innovation/oil-gas-research/methane-hydrate.

Mid-ocean Ridge: A mid-ocean ridge is an ocean mountain formed by plate tectonics; they tend to occur where the plates spread apart and form new ocean floor. The geological processes that occur here can sometimes cause molten lava to erupt, but these instances usually occur deep under the sea and do not get much attention.

A Glimpse At Deep Sea Life:

“Instead of relying on floral (plant) use of the sun’s energy to make organic material through photosynthesis, the food chain relies on microbes able to oxidize hydrogen sulfide and other compounds in hydrothermal vent waters, and convert large amounts of carbon dioxide in sea water into organic material through a process called chemosynthesis. The community consists of hundreds of species, including clams, mussels, crabs, vent fish, octopus, and the very unusual giant tube worms which grow as tall as 4 m. Conditions are hostile here; water pressures reach 200-300 atmospheres (3000 to 4500 lb./sq. in.), it is pitch dark, and volcanic eruptions and earthquakes occur frequently.” –NOAA, http://oceanexplorer.noaa.gov/explorations/05galapagos/background/mid_ocean_ridge/mid_ocean_ridge.html

Mud Volcano: Mud volcanoes are non-igneous ‘volcanoes’ that form when hot water deep in the earth mixes with the surrounding to form a slurry which is then pushed up though faults and fissures to the surface. They range in size from relatively small to rather large. Their temperatures also vary widely and can be as hot as 100°C/212°F or as cool as 2°C/36°F; some mud volcanoes are even used as mud spas. One example is the El Totumo mud volcano in Santa Catalina, Colombia.


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Neodymium: Neodymium is a rare earth that tarnishes in the air and (typical of rare earths) must be refined for usage as it is not naturally a metal and is usually mixed with other lanthanide elements. Neodymium is most well-known as a glass colorant material and as a key constituent of strong permanent magnets. Also check out our page on neodymium oxide.


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Ore: An ore is a mined raw material that has yet to be refined. Ores are typically considered industrial minerals, however, for added convenience, we have put the ores in their corresponding metal’s category.

For example, hematite (iron ore), can be found under our “Base Metals” category, as iron is a base metal.

Ore Concentrate: An ore concentrate is ore that has been cleaned and refined.

Optical Materials: Optical materials are materials with certain qualities that make them perform in a desired way in response to various or certain types of light. Example: infrared, optical, UV (ultra violet)

Orogenesis: Orogenesis generally refers to the formation of mountains via numerous geological processes; with emphasis on plate tectonics. A singular orogenic event or instance is called an orogeny.

Optical Transmission Range: One of the more important qualities of an optical material is its optical transmission range, a range measured in µm.


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Paleomagnetism: “Paleomagnetism is the study of Earth’s magnetic field over time. When rocks that contain magnetic minerals are deposited, the character (vertical and horizontal orientation along with polarity) of Earth’s magnetic field is locked within the rocks. This information can be used to study changes in Earth’s magnetic field as well as the movement of plates over time.”-geology.com Check out this link for additional research: (link)

Photon: Photons are mass-less entities that affect electrons and enforce electromagnetic force.

Plate Tectonics: Plate tectonics is a term that refers to the plates in which the Earth’s outermost layer, the lithosphere, is broken up into. The movement of these plates are responsible for many geological events including earth quakes, mountain formation,
volcanoes, sea floor expansion, continental drift, and many more.

Polymorphous: When two minerals have the same chemical composition, but are arranged in different crystal systems, they are dimorphous. When the same is true for 3 minerals, they are called trimorphous. If a 4 or more minerals share a chemical composition but differ in crystal arrangement, they are polymorphous.

Precious Metal: Precious metals are metals that are high in value, but low in supply. Examples include: silver, gold, platinum.


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Quark: (science)- subatomic particles carrying a fractional electric charge, postulated as building blocks of the hadrons. Quarks have not been directly observed, but theoretical predictions based on their existence have been confirmed experimentally.

(food)– A quark is generally defined as a type of cheese obtained from soured milk. Like many cheeses (and food-stuffs in general), the processes of production, textures, and flavors vary; quark can be dry and crumbly or sweet and creamy. The primary contributors affecting the above factors include: fat content, whey content, and rennet.

Quarry: A quarry is type of open-pit mine that crushes stone and supplies them (primarily) to the construction industry. Types of resources obtained include: limestone, granite, sand, sandstone, gypsum, and dimension stone. Dimension stones are segments of rock that have been selected and cut for the selling as slab, an example is soapstone counter top slabs.


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Rare Earth: Rare earths are a group of 17 chemical elements which (15 of them) can be found in the lanthanide group. Rare earths have been fundamental to many of our modern advances; one particularly popular one being the mobile/ cell phone’s size reduction. Other products include: permanent magnets, lasers, electronics, nuclear reactors and more.

Reaction Series: This term refers to the series of reactions and interactions that occurs when a melt material comes in contact with mineral crystals and forms a new material.

Reagent: A chemical reagent is a chemical that is very pure or consistent in quality and content variation. Reagents are used in sensitive applications where results need to be very accurate. Some reagents can be very sensitive to new additions and results can vary greatly just by changing the chemicals purity.

Recharge Area: A recharge area is where permeable land where water can enter an aquifer. Go to Aquifer

Refraction: Refraction is the term used to generalize any event where a wave passes in an indirect way through a medium of varying density. Such waves include: light, sound, radio, and more. In geology, it refers to the bending of a seismic wave.


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Salt Glacier: Yes, they exist! Salt’s low density and other physio-chemical properties give it a buoyant water-like disposition which aids in the development of underground salt plugs and their emergence as salt glaciers. Salt glaciers can usually only exist in arid environments. Visit NASA in the following link for additional reading and more links-(link) https://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/IOTD/view.php?id=86861

Salt Marsh: Salt marshes are coastline marshes that receive a regular flow of sea water from high tides. These coastal wetlands function as an ecosystem to many different creatures from many different classes of species. This includes many species of insects, birds, fish, mammals, plants, and reptiles. Want a more extensive list? Go to http://www.sms.si.edu/irlspec/saltmarsh.htm (link) or to learn more about salt marsh ecosystems: (MarineBio.org).

Support a Salt Marsh:

Salt marshes serve as a safe place for many young marine animals to live and increase their overall chances of survival, they act as a place for recreation for humans, and provide an fascinating site for everyone interested in learning about nature and science. However, many of these havens are in need of support and protection! Join a worthy cause and see how you can help out one of these vital habitats today> National Park Service, nps.org

Seamount: A seamount is an undersea mountain> a sea-mount. It must have a local relief (vertical elevation) of at least 1000 meters.

Seismic Wave: A seismic wave is an energy waves that generally travels through (body wave) or on the surface (surface wave) of the earth. These waves are most noticeable when there is an earthquake, explosion, or other such large event. Seismic waves are measured and used to rate the intensity of earthquakes. Interested in the physics of refraction?
Check out Hyper Physics’s articles at: http://hyperphysics.phy-astr.gsu.edu/hbase/geoopt/refr.html (link)

Settling Pond: A pond that is allowed to sit in order to settle out suspended residues; often waste residues from mines, construction sites, or other industrial sites.

Silicate Minerals: Silicate minerals are rock forming minerals that are composed of silicate groups. The silicate groups vary from each other depending on their silicate:oxygen ratio, structure, and their dominant element. Since silicate minerals make up around 90% of the Earth’s crust, they form many common rock and mineral groups some of which include clays, garnets, feldspars,mica, quartz, and zircon.

Short Ton: =2000 pounds

Sinkhole: Sinkholes are depressions in the ground created by the collapsing of limestone, dolomite, gypsum, or other weaker/ weakened subterranean material that once enclosed an underground void. These can vary in sizes and have been known to consume buildings, houses, and other surface structures, giving them a more destructive connotation.

The Lost City of Ubar:

The ancient Arabian desert city of Ubar was once a major center of frankincense trade and is mentioned in several famous writings such as the book of One Thousand and One Nights, and the Koran. Then, after 5,000 years of prosperity, this huge fortress of a city was swallowed by the sand, cast into legend, and began to fade away into mythology as more and more scholars began to doubt its actual existence… that is until the lost city of Ubar was actually found.

By applying high-tech satellite imagery and doing some detective work, ancient trade routes were all traced to a particularly “barren” region of the Oman desert. This region was so barren that it actually has the nickname “Empty Quarter”, but upon scanning with a special shuttle radar system, the team was able to pick up prominent features of the lost city through all the overlying sand. The most prominent of all features being 8 30 foot towers going along the walls of the eight-sided city fortress.

This massive fortress was built over a limestone cavern, which in addition to bearing the weight of the structure, was also weakened by the continuous withdraw of water its water and the slowly decreasing water supply due to the gradual decrease of overall rainfall in the area. Eventually this led to the collapse of the cavern and the subsequent swallowing of the city fortress.

The excavation: With groups of 40 people digging with sifters, there has been a lot uncovered, and nearly 200 tons of sand moved. Exploration of the sinkhole ruins however, remains too dangerous to touch and the team awaits the guidance of mining engineers before proceeding. For more details check out: La Times, or for more lost cities: cracked.com

Strata: Term for a group of rock layers. Stratified materials are materials that are deposited in layers; such layering is often useful to scientists looking to gain insight about the history of a land or region.

Striation: Scratches and grooves on a surface caused by abrasive friction from another material being moved across it.

Subduction Zone: A subduction zone is most clearly defined by geology.com as: “An area at a convergent plate boundary where an oceanic plate is being forced down into the mantle beneath another plate. These can be identified by a zone of progressively deeper earthquakes.” See this link for more: (link) http://earthguide.ucsd.edu/eoc/teachers/t_tectonics/p_subduction.html

Sublimination: Any processes in which a gas is converted directly to a solid; foregoing the intermediary liquid stage.

Surfactant: Surfactants(surface active agents) are chemicals with both hydrophillic and hydrophobic properties that lower the surface tension between two elements (such as a liquid and a solid). They may be classified by the way they ionize (split) into ions. Many “everyday” products either are or contain surfactants; these include: detergents & soap, pesticides & fertilizers, and emulsifiers & shampoos*. *Sodium laureth sulfate (SLES) is a very common surfactant compound used in hair care, cosmetic, and other personal care products products primarily as an emulsifier. For a comprehensive reference regarding surfactants and how they work, visit: essentialchemicalindustry.org(link)


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Tephra: Igneous rock and sand that erupt from a volcanic explosion.

Thermal Pollution:Thermal pollution is when water is returned to an environment at a temperature that does not correspond to the local temperature. This may cause direct distress on the environment and indirectly affect nearby ones as well.

Topography: Topography is the shape of the surface of the Earth in a select region; the study of which enables the production of topographic maps.

Trace Element:Trace elements are elements that occur in very small amounts among a dominant element.

Transgression: The encroachment of the water over an area of land.

Transmission Pipeline:A pipeline that carries natural gas.

Transpiration: The process in which plants take up water from the ground and release it into the atmosphere through their leaves.

Triple Junction:Location where 3 lithospheric plates meet.

Troglobite: A creature whose biology and lifestyle evolved to suit life in a lightless environment such as a cave or the deep sea. Many of these creatures bear resemblance to their surface relatives but often have very drastic alterations in both appearance and methods of survival. (National Geographic)


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Uniformitarianism: Uniformitarianism is the belief that the natural laws which govern the universe remain uniform and constant throughout time and throughout the universe.

Unit cell: The smallest group of atoms of a substance from which the entire lattice can be produced via replication/ repetitive translation along its primary axis.

Upwelling: When cold water from a lower area in a body of water moves into shallower areas.


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V-shaped valley: V-shaped valleys are often created by streams and are commonly found in young-stages of a land’s geographic development. Similarly, U-shaped valleys are often created by glaciers.

Vein: A vein is formed when minerals fill in a fracture.

Vesicle: A cylindrical or spherical hallows in igneous rock that remained from air bubbles that got trapped during the melt phase.

Volcanic arch: A chain of volcanoes that forms as a result of a continental plate colliding with an oceanic plate, which ends up subducting under it. This can also occur under the ocean with 2 oceanic plates.

Volcanic neck: Volcanic necks form when a volcano doesn’t have enough pressure to erupt and simply cool and erodes over time. For more check out this link: universetoday.com

Vulcanization (R): In the rubber industry, natural rubbers or other similar unprocessed polymers, go through a chemical process called vulcanization in order to greatly improve its mechanical properties, reduce stickiness, and add other desired properties such as durability and elasticity to the rubber/polymer. This process usually involves an acid (commonly sulfuric) to chemically cross link the long chain molecules, accelerator(s) to decrease the required temperature of the process, metal oxides (commonly zinc oxide), and anti-oxidants.


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Wall Tension: The wall tension of a balloon varies throughout it, which may make it seem as though it is an exception to Pascal’s principal (equal pressure at equilibrium), but when the balloon’s geometry it taken into account, the tension, pressure,
and radius is found to have a definite, calculable relationship. The least wall tension being at the smaller radius areas and the most wall tension being at the wider, expanded radius areas.http://hyperphysics.phy-astr.gsu.edu/hbase/hframe.html

Wasting Natural Resources: Natural resources such as fossil fuels that are not easily replaced by human or natural methods.

Watershed: “A watershed is a basin-like landform defined by highpoints and ridgelines that descend into lower elevations and stream valleys. A watershed carries water “shed” from the land after rain falls and snow melts.”– http://watershedatlas.org/fs_indexwater.html

Water Table: The top part of the subterranean level where all the pores and fractures are saturated with water (zone of saturation).


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Xenolith: A pre-existing rock that did not melt in magma and ended up crystallized in it. *Most diamonds are found in xenoliths brought up the surface by volcanic eruptions.

X-Ray Diffusion: X-ray diffusion (XRD) is a technique that takes advantage of the dual-wave/particle nature of X-rays in order to identify and characterize compounds by their diffraction pattern via x-ray bombardment. This popular method can identify and analyze (crystalline) minerals, chemicals, composites, and samples of materials, as well as provide crucial data about the samples under various controlled situations such as strain. The results can be recorded as a diffractogram.

How it works:

“The dominant effect that occurs when an incident beam of monochromatic X-rays interacts with a target material is scattering of those X-rays from atoms within the target material. In materials with regular structure (i.e. crystalline), the scattered X-rays undergo constructive and destructive interference. This is the process of diffraction. The diffraction of X-rays by crystals is described by Bragg’s Law, n(lambda) = 2d sin(theta). The directions of possible diffractions depend on the size and shape of the unit cell of the material. The intensities of the diffracted waves depend on the kind and arrangement of atoms in the crystal structure. However, most materials are not single crystals, but are composed of many tiny crystallites in all possible orientations called a polycrystalline aggregate or powder. When a powder with randomly oriented crystallites is placed in an X-ray beam, the beam will see all possible interatomic planes. If the experimental angle is systematically changed, all possible diffraction peaks from the powder will be detected.”-https://www.xos.com/XRD, X-ray Optical Systems

X-Ray Fluorescence: X-ray fluorescence uses X-ray bombardment to cause the sample’s elements to emit fluorescent X-rays of a specific energy level that corresponds uniquely to the element emitting them. XRF can analyze and gather data about the elements a material is composed of, and in some circumstances can also provide qualitative data about the material, for example its thickness, concentration, and trace elements.


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Yttrium: Yttrium was first discovered in Ytterby, Sweden, and was the first rare earth to be discovered. Unknown to the discoverers, the same sample also contained many other undiscovered elements including: erbium, terbium, ytterbium, scandium, thulium, holmium dysprosium, and lutetium. Read more about Yttrium at: (link) and visit our page at: (link)

Ytterbium: Ytterbium is a rare earth lanthanide that was discovered through a series of events that occurred 1878-1953(when the first pure yttrium metal was created). Initially, a sample was found in Geneva, Switzerland; this sample also contained a whole bunch of other rare earths. Ytterbium was extracted from a sample of decomposed erbium nitrate (collectively known as ytterbia), and through the fractional crystallization of ytterbium nitrate, George Urbain(1907) not only found ytterbium oxide, but also lutetium oxide.


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Zeolite: A group of porous aluminosilicate minerals primarily composed of aluminum, oxygen, silicon, and metal(s). These materials are most commonly used as catalysts and absorbents; their porous cage-like structures gives them molecular sieve functionality which enables them to discriminate molecules by their size. Visit our zeolite product page, or for more about how zeolites work- (link).

Zone of Aeration: A subterranean level that is above the zone of saturation where the pores and spaces in the ground are filled with air. May also be referred to as the Zone of Unsaturation.

Zone of Saturation: The zone of saturation is a subterranean level where all the pores and fractures in the ground are saturated with water.