Watershed Glossary

Here are a few basic terms you'll need to know as you study your watershed.
Click here to download this vocabulary list.

Archeology the scientific study of material remains (as fossil relics, artifacts, and monuments) of past human life and activities
Artifact something created by humans usually for a practical purpose especially remaining from a certain period
Biome a major ecological community type as in a tropical rainforest or desert
Boundary the limit or border of an area a. political -a political boundary is artificially determined b. natural -a natural boundary is marked by a landform such as a river
Channel the bed of a stream or river, the path of ground through which a river flows
Confluence the point where two rivers flow together
Contour line a line on a topographic map that shows elevation above sea level
Environment the complex of physical, chemical, and biotic factors (as in climate, soil, and living things) that act upon an organism or an ecological community and ultimately determine its form and survival.
Features the recognizable attributes of an area including landforms, vegetation, structures, and bodies of water.
Inference a deduction based on gathered data Inquiry an investigation, formulating questions in order to determine new information
Inter- dependence the reliance of organisms on each other for survival
Landforms a natural feature of a land surface
Meander a curve in a river
Natural- Features the attributes of an area that are not created by human power including landforms, vegetation, and bodies of water.
Non-point source pollution that enters the water from a variety of sources including homes, farms, streets, and construction sites
Point source pollution that enters the water from a single location as a concentrated source
River mouth the point where a smaller body of water enters a larger body of water
River source the point of origin of a stream or river
Structure something that is made by human power, something that is constructed
Symbol something that stands for or suggests something else by reason of relationship, association, convention, or accidental resemblance
Topographical Map a map that shows elevation of a land area through the use of contour lines
Tributaries a stream feeding a larger stream or lake
Watershed region or area draining ultimately to a particular watercourse or body of water

Center for Global Environmental Education
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