Glossary - A

Natural And Built Environments


291 words
Abandoned WellA well whose use has been permanently discontinued or which is in a state of such disrepair that it cannot be used for its intended purpose.
AbatementReducing the degree or intensity of, or eliminating, pollution.
Abatement DebrisWaste from remediation activities
Abiotic Water Cyclenon-living chemical and physical factors of the environment (see also biotic).
AblationThe process by which ice and snow dissipate owing to melting and evaporation.
Aboveground Storage Tank
Absorbed DoseIn exposure assessment, the amount of a substance that penetrates an exposed organism's absorption barriers (e.g. skin, lung tissue, gastrointestinal tract) through physical or biological processes. The term is synonymous with internal dose.
Absorptionone substance taking in another either physically or chemically.
Absorption BarrierAny of the exchange sites of the body that permit uptake of various substances at different rates (e.g. skin, lung tissue, and gastrointestinal-tract wall)
Absorption ChillerA type of air cooling device that uses absorption cooling to cool interior spaces.
Absorption CoefficientIn reference to a solar energy conversion devices, the degree to which a substance will absorb solar energy. In a solar photovoltaic device, the factor by which photons are absorbed as they travel a unit distance through a material.
Absorption CoolingA process in which cooling of an interior space is accomplished by the evaporation of a volatile fluid, which is then absorbed in a strong solution, then desorbed under pressure by a heat source, and then recondensed at a temperature high enough that the heat of condensation can be rejected to a exterior space.
Absorption Pita hole dug in permeable ground and filled with broken stones or granular material and usually covered with earth allowing collected water to soak into the ground.
AbsorptivityIn a solar thermal system, the ratio of solar energy striking the absorber that is absorbed by the absorber to that of solar energy striking a black body (perfect absorber) at the same temperature. The absorptivity of a material is numerically equal to its emissivity.
AbutmentThe part of a valley or canyon wall against which a dam is constructed. Right and left abutments are those on respective sides of an observer looking downstream.
Abutment SeepageReservoir water that moves through seams or pores in the natural abutment material and exits as seepage.
ACBMAcronym for "asbestos-containing building material."
Accident Involving Explosives
AcclimatizationThe physiological and behavioral adjustments of an organism to changes in its environment
AccumulatorA component of a heat pump that stores liquid and keeps it from flooding the compressor. The accumulator takes the strain off the compressor and improves the reliability of the system.

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