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Glossary Section A

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Abiotic Factor
A nonliving part of an organism's habitat.
Abrasion
The grinding away of rock by other rock particles carried in water, ice, or wind.
Acid Rain
Rain that contains more acid than normal
Acidic
Describes a substance that reacts strongly with metals and changes blue litmus paper red
Adaptation
A behavior or physical characteristic that helps an organism to survive in its habitat
Aftershock
An earthquake that occurs after a larger earthquake in the same area
Air Mass
A huge body of air that has similar temperature, humidity, and air pressure throughout
Air Pressure
the result of the weight of a column of air pushing down on an area
Alluvial Fan
a wide, sloping deposit of sediment formed where a stream leaves a mountain range
Altitude
Elevation above sea level
Anemometer
An instrument used to measure wind speed
Aneroid Barometer
an instrument that measures changes in air pressure without using a liquid
Anticyclone
A high-pressure center of dry air
Aquaculture
The farming of water Organisms
Asthenosphere
The soft layer of the mantle on which the lithosphere floats
Atmosphere
Earth's envelope of gases