To fill and raise the level of (the bed of a stream) by deposition of sediment.


Fine-grained intermediate volcanic igneous rock. Mineralogically similar to the diorites.


Caused by human activities.


A fretted, steep-sided rock ridge separating u-shaped or cirque valleys.


Generic term used to describe ridge-like accumulations of sediment within river channels. These develop on the bed of the river but may become exposed at low flow. Bar size is determined by sediment supply rate, with their height reflecting the depth of generating flows.


Refers to a transitional period of time between the Younger Dryas stadial, characterised by glacial re-advances, and the Holocene interstadial (last 10,000 years). The Boreal climate was characterised by a snowy winter and warm summer, with a large annual range of temperature. It can also refer to the northern coniferous zone in temperate areas of the northern hemisphere.


A braided river is a river whose flow passes through a number of interlaced branches that divide and rejoin.


Refers to substances containing or composed of calcium carbonate.


i) Producing coal.

ii) Of the Palaeozoic period, above Devonian and below Permian.


Vegetation growing in cracks and crevices.


A general term applied to any unconsolidated sediment deposited by rain-wash, sheet-wash, slope failure, or slow continuous down slope creep, usually collecting at the base of slopes or hillsides.


River flow competence is the maximum particle size which can be transported by the flow.


A hollow, open downstream but bounded upstream by an arcuate, cliffed headwall, with a gently sloping floor or rock basin. They are common in formerly glaciated uplands.


Relating to, or like, a delta.

Desk Study

Assessment of a site usually preceding ground investigations typically incorporating a review of available site information, consultation with relevant bodies and a site visit.


A geological period of the Palaeozoic era named after the county of Devon in south west England where Devonian rock outcrops are common. It extends from c. 416 to 350 mya.

Drift (Superficial) Deposits

Specifically glacial deposits but often used to include other natural superficial deposits such as alluvium and beach deposits. Superficial deposits: as Drift deposits, but includes anthropogenic deposits such as made ground.

Duty of Care

A duty placed on those with responsibility for controlled waste to ensure that it is managed properly and recovered or disposed of safely.


Sheet–like bodies of igneous rock that cut across the bedding or layering of the host rock.


The mixing of materials or other air/liquids into a pre-existing organised air or liquid current so that the material or air/liquid becomes part of that current.


Of the sub-family Erica which grow in evergreen habit on the acidic, nutrient-poor substrates that support most heathlands.


A fracture or fracture zone along which there has been a displacement of rock.


A type of lichen characterised by a very fine, hair-like structure.


Term used to describe the hydrograph of a stream which shows a rapid increase in discharge over a short period with a high peak in relation to normal flow.

Flow banding

The structure arising when directional movement of a liquid, containing crystals, causes these crystals to take up a parallel orientation.


Pertaining to flowing water. Produced by the action of a stream or river.


The science of surface landforms and the processes that have created them.

Ground Investigation

Exploratory investigation to determine the structure and characteristics of the ground influenced by a development. The collected information is used to establish or predict ground and groundwater behaviour during, and subsequent to, construction.

Hanging Valley

A tributary valley whose floor is discordant with the floor of the main valley.


An underground burrow, sea cave or rock hole used by an otter.


Water loving species.


Rock types originating from magma (underground lava).


The macroscopic physical character of a rock or rock formation.


Animals without backbones that are big enough to see with the naked eye.


The molten rock material under the earth's crust, from which igneous rock is formed by cooling.


The layer of the earth between the crust and the core.


The condition of a soil layer in which the layer appears as a coherent or solid mass.


Reservoirs and lakes which contain moderate quantities of nutrients and are moderately productive in terms of aquatic animal and plant life.


Rock with a mineralogical and chemical granite composition.


Pertaining to a mountainous region.


Reservoirs and lakes which are nutrient poor and contain little aquatic plant or animal life.

Paeleoenvironmental evidence

Study of environmental records such as pollen, foraminifera, micro fossils and sedimentology to determine environmental conditions and changes over time.


Lying in a plane. Completely flat.


The outline or shape of a body of water as determined by the stillwater line.

Pollution Prevention Guidelines (PPGs)

Each PPG, produced by the Scottish Environment Protection Agency, is targeted at a particular industrial sector or activity and aims to provide advice on statutory responsibilities and good environmental practice.


Medium-grained rock. containing much larger individual crystals (phenocrysts) of any mineral.

Regionally Important Geological Sites

Sites designated by regional geological groups based on locally developed criteria, currently the most important places for geology and geomorphology outside statutorily protected land such as Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI).


Fine-grained to glassy acid volcanic rocks. Mineralogically similar to granites and microgranites.


A shallow part of the stream where water flows swiftly over completely or partially submerged obstructions to produce surface agitation.


Riparian zone is the interface between land and a flowing surface waterbody, characterised by hydrophilic plant communities.

Roche moutonnée

An asymmetric rock mound produced by glacial erosion, one side is ice moulded and smooth, and the other is ice-plucked and craggy.


Composed of silicon or primarily of silicon.

Sites of Special Scientific Interest

Areas of national importance. The aim behind the SSSI network is to maintain an adequate representation of all natural and semi-natural habitats and native species across Britain. The site network is protected under the provisions of Sections 28 and 19 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 as well as the Amendment Act 1985 and the Environmental Protection Act 1990.


Material formed on, situated at, or occurring on the earth's surface, especially consisting of unconsolidated residual, alluvial, or glacial deposits lying on bedrock.

Water Framework Directive

The Directive was adopted by the European Parliament and the Council of the European Union on 22 December 2000. Its objective is to establish a framework for community action in the field of water quality to protect inland surface waters, marine, transitional waters and groundwater.