Chapter 2: Etymology (origin) of plate boundary types

  • Convergent derives from Latin present participle of convergĕre, first used in 1713
  • Divergent derives from Latin dīvergentia, first used in 1656
  • Hot spot is a compound word after German Wärmepunkt , feature first described in 1963 but without a name, term first used in 1968
  • Plate tectonics formed by adding two English words, first used in 1969
  • Rift derived from early Scandinavian (Icelandic ripta or rifta or Danish rifte) first used in geology in 1924
  • Strike-slip formed by adding two English words, first used in 1913
  • Subduction derives from Latin subductiōn-, action of hauling up a ship onto a beach, removal (c400), expulsion or elimination of something from the body (c1200) first used in geology in 1970
  • Transform derives from Latin transformāre, first used in 1340

Chapter 3: Etymology (origin) of common rock-forming mineral names

  • Amphibole derives from Greek amphíbolos (double entendre), implying ambiguity. The group name proposed in 1801 by René Haüy to include tremolite, actinolite and hornblende. The name reflects the variety, in composition and appearance, assumed by this group of minerals.
  • Calcite from Latin calx”lime” + -ite coined by Austrian mineralogist Wilhelm Karl von Hardinger, 1849
  • Clay from Old English claeg
  • Feldspar from German feld”field” + spath “spar”, non-metallic mineral, 1785
  • Garnet form of gernet from Old French grenate, gernatte, granate, also an adjective, “of a dark red color,” from Medieval Latin granatum perhaps from Medieval Latin or Old French words for pomegranate, from the stone’s resemblance either to the shape of the seeds or the color of the pulp, mid 15th century
  • Gypsum from Greek gypsos”chalk”
  • Halite from Greek hals”salt” + -ite, by German mineralogist Ernst Friedrich Glocker ,1847
  • Hematite from multiple origins partly from Latin haematites and partly from Greek haimatites lithos”bloodlike stone,” from haima “blood” + -ite
  • Hornblende from German horn”horn of an animal” + blende, indicates “a deceiver”, 1770
  • Magnetite from German magnetit; see magnet+ -ite , 1840
  • Mica from Modern Latin “crumb, bit, morsel, grain.”  Could also be Greek mikros”small” The word was applied to the mineral probably on the supposition that it was related to Latin micare “to flash, glitter”, 1706
  • Olivine named by Abraham Gottlob Werner for its olive-green color, 1796
  • Pyroxene from Greek pyr “fire” + xenos “stranger”. by Abbé Haüy, French mineralogist, “because he thought it ‘a stranger in the domain of fire’ or alien to igneous rocks.” 1796
  • Quartz from the German word Quarz, 1756



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Investigating the Earth: Exercises for Physical Geology Copyright © by Daniel Hauptvogel; Virginia Sisson; and Michael Comas is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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