My favorite geologic word: Anticlinorium

I don’t think it’s as obscure as geophantasmogram, but it’s not something you often hear around these parts, e.g., Oklahoma. Come to think of it, tectonics and topography don’t get mentioned much in local conversations either… But, I digress.

So, what is an anticlinorium? A more common geologic term that first comes to mind is anticline — and, as you may have guessed — the two are related. An anticlinorium is a series of anticlines (and synclines), which have also been anticlined. Wait, I know what you’re thinking, “Did he just use anticline as a verb?” Yes. Yes, I did. It’s the best one-line explanation I can think of. Another way to explain an anticlinorium is that of a fold with at least two considerably different, dominant wavelengths [ahem]. Forgive me. Sometimes, I speak geophysics.

For the best explanation, I suggest looking at a cross-section:

Why is this my favorite geologic word? Because geologists are wordsmiths, a lot of the words I use are somewhat made up (cf., anticlined) — this one is one of the more geologically valid ones. If anyone is interested, I’m in search of the ever elusive monoclinorium… Let me know if you see it first!

For a list of other geologists’ favorite words, check out the Accretionary Wedge #35.


~ by Jefferson C. Chang on 24 June 2011.

2 Responses to “My favorite geologic word: Anticlinorium”

  1. Are still active? Could you please email me at I would like to use your drawing in my research.
    Bill Panczner

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