Glossary of Terms

Anemometer – Small hand held device with inbuilt fan which captures and measures wind speed and direction. Some may also obtain altitude and pressure readings.

Auger – A long rod instrument with a special attachment at the end used for boring into the ground by hand and obtaining soil samples intact.

Clipboards – A strong sturdy board designed to allow users to continued making notes on a flat surface anywhere they might be.

Compass Clinometer (Compass Clino) – A compass with a gravity operated clinometer arm added which is used to measure angles & heights of objects & performing ‘Dip & strike’.

Core Saw & Splitters – A high powered circular disc saw or hydraulic splitter which is used for the cutting and splitting of drill core sample into smaller sections or down the centre.

Core Tray – Long box constructed from either wood, plastic, corrugated plastic or metal which is used for holding and storing drill core samples, usually in 1m lengths.

Crystal - A crystalline solid material where the constituent atoms, molecules, or ions are arranged in an ordered pattern in all three dimensions.

Drill Core Sample – A rock sample taken from a bore drill, long and cylindrical, allows geologists to analyse the rock type beneath a potential mine/quarry site.

Field Guide – Moderate sized hand book ideal for use in specific areas which gives details, photos and diagrams relating to the areas geology & its’ features.

Field Notebook – Specific notebooks designed for use in the outdoors or on site in which users note down important details & field sketches for referral at a later date.

Flagging Tape – A roll of tape made from pvc, this tape is versatile, rugged has no adhesive on it, and is usually a bright vibrant colour for easy visibility on working sites.

Fossils – Preserved remains of animals or traces of animals. Often only parts are preserved such as bones or sells, however recent find have also unearth soft tissue specimens.

Geode – naturally occurring gas bubble often forming in magma. The temperature difference results in large crystals forming inside the bubble and upon crystalising can be dug out whole.

Geological Hammer (Rock Hammer) – A modified hammer with a range of heads primarily used for the breaking down of large rock samples or the sizing or extraction of material from a matrix.

  • Chisel Edge Hammer – Geological hammer with one flat face for breaking/crushing rock and a chisel edge on the other for splitting and cutting rock
  • Pointed Tip Hammer - Geological hammer with one flat face for breaking/crushing rock and a pointed tip on the other for precision work or extraction of fossils or crystals.

Geological Map – A map produced of an area which instead details the area’s geology and geological features such as rock type, fold, anticlines etc.

  • Geological Mapping – The process of studying, sampling and producing a map of an area which details its’ geology and geological features.

Gold Pan – A plastic or steel pan (shaped like a large bowl) which uses riffles in the pan to separate gold from water, used for gold prospecting.

Goniometer – Ruler like item which pivots in the middle and displays 360 degrees which can be used as an angle measurer.

GPS – Global positioning system, used as a means of navigation, can detect users’ position globally within a few meters via use of satellite.

Hand Lens (Jeweller Loupe) – A hand held pocket magnifier available in a range of sizes and magnification. Often used in the field to obtain a clearer view of rock, mineral or fossil samples.

Hip Chain – Distance measuring device which measures distance via use of a set length of cord. Often used in difficult areas to obtain a GPS signal. E.g. underground mine tunnels.

Magnetic Susceptibility Meter (Mag Sus) – a highly advanced device which determined magnetic values of rock or mineral samples with ease.

Microscopy – The analysis and study of small samples which are too small to see with the naked eye and therefore require the use of a laboratory microscope to view them in detail.

Mineral – naturally occurring solid substance made through various geological and chemical processes resulting in beautiful and strange structures.

Munsell charts – Charts made by Munsell which aid users in identification of samples e.g. Rock or soil by use of colour association.

Particle reduction – the process of reducing the size of samples. Either done manually with a rock hammer or mechanically with use of rock crushers.

Riffle Box - Riffle boxes are designed for dividing or halving materials & particles into two equal portions by a series of chutes which discharges alternatively in opposite directions.

Rock – Naturally occurring aggregate formed by geological processes composed of one or more minerals. Divided into 3 groups:

  • Igneous – Group of rocks which are formed through the cooling and cystalisation of magma or lava.
  • Metamorphic – Group of rocks which are formed through partial reheating or pressure (or both) or previous rock (can either be sedimentary, igneous or metamorphic)
  • Sedimentary – an aggregate rock often made up of other pre-existing rocks or minerals and is often made close to the surface.

Rock Chip (RC) trays – A long trays containing either 10 or 20 separate small compartments which are used to store sample chip fragments which have broken during the drilling process.

Sample Bag – Refers to a wide range of bags made from varying material such as: Kraft paper, polythene, cotton, protexo or Tyvek used specifically for the storage and transport of samples.

  • Cotton Bags – Drawstring cotton bags made from 100% pure cotton ideal for the storage of dry geological samples or hardware.
  • Kraft Envelope – an envelope used for the storage & transportation of geochemical samples made from kraft paper. A variety of paper made from kraft pulping.
  • Polythene Bags – A variety of bag manufactured from polyethelene plastic, can be made with a range of thicknesses and sizes.
  • Protexo bags – Manufactured from bleached & backfilled cloth, potexo bags are waterproof, insects proof & mildew proof.
  • Tyvek Bags – strong and resistant bag which is breathable ideal for the storage of damp or dry samples and even angular samples which may normally rip other bags.

Sample Tag Book – A specific book with tear off pages. The main page contains space for sample descriptions whereas the tear off page simply has a number which collate back to the main page.

Sample Tags – Plastic, paper or metallic tags used for writing on sample information such as name, grid references etc.

Sampling – The process of obtaining samples from the field, samples include soil, gavel, drill cores and sand. Sample are stored in a range of bags to avoid contamination and loss.

Scale Ruler – A variety of ruler which displays various map scales instead of cm, mm or inches.

Sedimentary Particle Analysis – the study of sediments and the minute particles which make them up including sand, gravel, soil etc. Often undertaken in the lab with sieves.

  • Sedimentary Sieve – Refers to a wide range of sieves suited for earth sciences for the separation & sieving or sediment particle based on their size index via varying mesh sizes in the sieves.

Stratigraphy – sub-branch of geology which focuses on the study and analysis of rock layers and sedimentary beds in relation to the geology of the surrounding area.

  • Stratigraphic Chart – A chart produced by a geologist which details the rocks stratigraphic nature.

Streak Plate – A ceramic tile cut into a small square for ease of use. It is primarily used for scratching mineral samples along the surface, the colour of the ‘streak’ aids in mineral identification.

Surface markers – Special marker crayons made out of chemical wax which can mark on almost any surface, wood, plastic, glass, rock, oily & greasy surfaces.

Survey Flags – A flag made from pvc often a vibrant colour for easy viewing. Often used along with survey stakes and flagging tape.

Survey Stakes – Wooden posts with a pointed end used to assist in marking out an area of potential surveying. Often used along with survey flags and flagging tape.

Swing Magnetic Pen – A small cylindrical object with a magnet installed at one end and a ‘balancing’ clip in the middle. Used to determine if a mineral/rock has magnetic properties.

Tumblestones – Smooth polished minerals, often vibrant colours.

Tumbling machine – Mechanical rotary machine which rotates a barrel often filled with rough minerals and grit. The tumbling process ends with smooth polished tumble stones.

Ultra Violet Lamp (UV lamp) – modified hand held lamp which emits light in the uv spectrum instead. This light causes fluorescent minerals to ‘glow’ bright and vibrant colours.