Outdoor Glossary: C

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cable logging
Logging that involves the transport of logs from stump to collection points by means of suspended steel cables. Cable logging reduces the need for the construction of logging roads.

Literally means "between the capes"; U.S. Maritime Cabotage Laws include 31 separate enactments governing the transportation of cargo and passengers between any two points in the United States, its territories and possessions, and all dredging, towing, salvage and other marine operations and fishing in U.S. waters.

California current
A deep-ocean boundary current that flows south-southeasterly along the U.S. west coast. The current is shallow, broad and slow moving carrying cold, nutrient poor waters toward the equator.

callippic cycle
A period of four Metonic cycles equal to 76 Julian years, or 27,759 days. Devised by Callippus, a Greek astronomer, about 350 B.C., as a suggested improvement on the Metonic cycle for a period in which new and full Moon would recur on the same day of the year. Taking the length of the synodical month as 29.530,588 days, there are 940 lunations in the Callippic cycle, with about 0.25 day remaining.

The condition of the water surface when there is no wind waves or swell.

camera, aerial
A camera especially designed for photographing the Earths surface from above the ground; usually carried in aircraft and Earth-orbiting satellites.

camera, metric
A camera designed particularly for photogrammetry, constructed so that the image is distorted geometrically as little as possible and the camera characteristics do not change from photograph to photograph.

An artificial watercourse cut through a land area for such uses as navigation and irrigation.

canary current
A North Atlantic Ocean current setting southward off the west coast of Portugal and along the northwest coast of Africa.

The part of any stand of trees represented by the tree crowns. It usually refers to the uppermost layer of foliage, but it can be use to describe lower layers in a multi-storied forest.

Top of the crown.

A relatively extensive land area jutting seaward from a continent or large island which prominently marks a change in, or interrupts notably, the coastal trend; a prominent feature.

capillary wave
A wave whose velocity or propagation is controlled primarily by the surface tension of the liquid in which the wave is travelling. A water wave in which the wave length is less than 2.5 cm is considered to be a capillary wave, while waves longer than 2.5 cm and shorter than 5cm are in an indeterminate zone between capillary and gravity waves. See also ripple.

Having a keel or ridge.

refers to flesh-eating mammals in the Order Carnivora, e.g. dogs, skunks, weasels, cats, and raccoons.

dead, and/or decaying flesh. Opossums are often seen at night eating carrion along roads and highways.

carrying capacity
The maximum number of species that any particular area can support over an extended period of time.

cartilaginous fishes
Major group of fishes including sharks, rays and chimaeras

The science and art of making maps.

The act of imparting energy to a fly rod in such a way that the fly line and leader project a fly to a target some distance away.

Migrating from freshwater to the sea to spawn, e.g., European eels

Toward the posterior end, or caudal fin.

The processed, salted eggs of a large fish (such as sturgeon); a delicacy.

A hole in a tree often used by wildlife species, usually birds, for nesting, roosting, and reproduction.

Christmas Bird Count. This survey is performed in one calendar day any time from mid-December to early January by volunteers. Birds are counted in an area with a 15 mile radius. Data from this survey is used to generate the CBC maps.

The magnitude of wave velocity.

celestial sphere
An imaginary sphere of infinite radius concentric with the Earth, on which all celestial bodies except the Earth are imagined to be projected.

The unit of pressure equal to I ton per meter per second per second. See decibar.

centrifugal brake
A mechanism that stops the spool from releasing line as soon as the handle is turned.

Fleshy area between the beak and face.

change of tide
The change of one tide condition (rising or falling) for the other (falling or rising), or of one tidal current direction flow for the other.

(1) A natural or artificial waterway of perceptible extent which either periodically or continuously contains moving water, or which forms a connecting link between two bodies of water. (2) The part of a body of water deep enough to be used for navigation through an area otherwise too shallow for navigation. (3) The deepest portion of a stream, bay, or strait through which the main volume of current of water flows. (4) An open conduit for water either naturally or artificially created, but does not include artificially created irrigation, return flow or stockwatering channels.

chart datum
The datum to which soundings on a chart are referred. It is usually taken to correspond to a low-water elevation, and its depression below mean sea level is represented by the symbol Z . Since 1989, chart datum has been implemented to mean lower low water for all marine waters of the United States, its territories, Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, and Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands. See datum and National Tidal Datum Convention of 1980.

Same as Galofaro.

Area bounded by lore, eye, auricular, and lower mandible.

chemical control
The use of pesticides and herbicides to control pests and undesirable plant species.

Front part of the body.

Part of the face below the bill.

chlorinated hydrocarbon
Synthetic chemical substance containing chlorine, hydrogen, and carbon. The addition of chlorine to organic compounds causes these materials to break down slowly in the environment. The chlorinated hydrocarbons are also a class of insecticides, which includes DDT, mirex, aldrin, kepone, lindane, heptachlor, toxaphene, and many others.

chlorinity (Cl)
The number giving the chlorinity in grams per kilogram of a seawater sample is identical with the number giving the mass in grams of atomic weight silver just necessary to precipitate the halogens in 0.328,523,3 kilogram of the seawater sample. S(/oo) = 1.806,55 x Cl(/oo) where S(/oo) is the salinity in parts per thousand. See salinity.

choppy sea
Short, rough waves tumbling with a short and quick motion. Short-crested waves that may spring up quickly in a moderate breeze, and break easily at the crest.

A surface lure that grabs and throws water with erratic motion to attract predator fish feeding on the surface.

civil day
A mean solar day commencing at midnight.

civil time
Time in which the day begins at midnight as distinguished from the former astronomical time in which the day began at noon.

Intromittent (copulatory) organs attached to the pelvic fins of male chondrichthyans; modified portions of the pelvic fins in male sharks, rays and chimaeras used for transferring sperm to the female.

See type of tide.

clastic rocks
Rocks built up of fragments which have been produced by the processes of weathering and erosion, and in general transported to a point of deposition. Clay: A fine grained sediment with a typical grain size less than 0.004 mm. Possesses electromagnetic properties which bind the grains together to give a bulk strength or cohesion.

clear cut
A harvest in which all or almost all of the trees are removed in one cutting.

A high steep face of rock.

climate change
Refers to any long-term trend in mean sea level, wave height, wind speed, drift rate etc.

The culminating stage in plant succession for a given site. Climax vegetation is stable, self-maintaining, and self-reproducing.

co-filament bitmap
Two layers of monofilament bonded into a line that resists abrasion, favored by saltwater anglers.

co-tidal lines
Lines which link all the points where the tide is at the same stage (or phase) of its cycle.

coarse filter management
Land management that addresses the needs of all associated species, communities, environments, and ecological processes in a land area. (See fine filter management.)

A strip of land of indefinite length and width (may be tens of kilometers) that extends from the seashore inland to the first major change in terrain features.

Coast and Geodetic Survey
A former name of the National Ocean Service. The organization was known as: The Survey of the Coast from its founding in 1807 to 1836, Coast Survey from 1836 to 1878, Coast and Geodetic Survey from 1878 to 1970, and National Ocean Survey from 1970 to 1982. In 1982 it was named National Ocean Service. From 1965 to 1970, the Coast and Geodetic Survey was a component of the Environmental Science Services Administration (ESSA). The National Ocean Survey was a component of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). NOAA became the successor to ESSA in 1970. The National Ocean Service is a component of NOAA, U.S. Department of Commerce.

coastal boundary
The mean high water line (MHWL) or mean higher high water line (MHHWL) when tidal lines are used as the coastal boundary. Also, lines used as boundaries inland of and measured from (or points thereon) the MHWL or MHHWL. See marine boundary.

coastal currents
(1) Those currents which flow roughly parallel to the shore and constitute a relatively uniform drift in the deeper water adjacent to the surf zone. These currents may be tidal currents, transient, wind-driven currents, or currents associated with the distribution of mass in local waters. (2) For navigational purposes, the term is used to designate a current in coastwise shipping lanes where the tidal current is frequently rotary.

coastal defense
General term used to encompass both coast protection against erosion and sea defense against flooding.

coastal forcing
The natural processes that drive coastal hydro- and morphodynamics (e.g. winds, waves, tides, etc).

coastal management
The development of a strategic, long-term and sustainable land use policy, sometimes also called shoreline management.

coastal plain
The plain composed of horizontal or gently sloping strata of clastic material fronting the coast and generally representing a strip of recently emerged sea bottom that has emerged from the sea in recent geologic times. Also formed by aggradation.

coastal processes
Collective term covering the action of natural forces on the shoreline, and the nearshore seabed.

coastal zone (legal definition for coastal zone management)
The term coastal zone means the coastal waters (including the lands therein and thereunder) and the adjacent shorelands (including the waters therein and thereunder), strongly influenced by each and in proximity to the shorelines of the several coastal states, and includes islands, transitional and inter-tidal areas, salt marshes, wetlands, and beaches. The zone extends, in Great Lakes waters, to the international boundary between the Unites States and Canada and in other areas seaward to the outer limit of the United States territorial sea. The zone extends inland from the shorelines only to the extent necessary to control shorelands, the uses of which have a direct and significant impact on the coastal waters. Excluded from the coastal zone are lands the use of which is by law subject solely to the discretion of or which is held in trust by the Federal Government, its officers, or agents.

(1) Technically, the line that forms the boundary between the coast and the shore. (2) Commonly, the line that forms the boundary between land and the water. (3) The line where terrestrial processes give way to marine processes, tidal currents, wind waves, etc.

Rock fragment 50 - 250 mm in its longest diameter; usually rounded by weathering; larger than gravel, smaller than a boulder.

cocurrent line
A line on a map or chart passing through places having the same current hour.

cold smoked
A process whereby the fish has been lightly brined and smoked at a low temperature. Cold smoked fish must be cooked before consumption

Rear portion of crown. Synonym(s): nape, hindneck. In picture it is referred to as hindneck.

collector roads
These roads serve small land areas and are usually connected to a Forest System Road, a county road, or a state highway.

Colored area over eye found in males.

(1) A deepwater wave whose crest is pushed forward by a strong wind; much larger than a whitecap. (2) A long-period breaker.

commercial fishing
The act of fishing with the intent to make a profit from selling the catch to consumers.

Base of the bill where the mandibles join. Synonym(s): gape, rictus. In picture it is referred to as gape.

comparison of simultaneous observations
A reduction process in which a short series of tide or tidal current observations at any place is compared with simultaneous observations at a control station where tidal or tidal current constants have previously been determined from a long series of observations. For tides, it is usually used to adjust constants from a subordinate station to the equivalent of that which would be obtained from a l9-year series.

compass direction
Direction as indicated by compass without any allowances for compass error. The direction indicated by a compass may differ by a considerable amount from true or magnetic direction.

compass error
The angular difference between a compass direction and the corresponding true direction. The compass error combines the effects of deviation and variation.

compass, surveyors
A compass for determining the magnetic azimuth of a line of sight by means of a sighting device, a graduated horizontal circle, and a pivoted magnetic needle. Confluence: The junction of two or more river reaches or branches (the opposite of a bifurcation).

(1) Same as constituent. (2) That part of a tidal current velocity which, by resolution into orthogonal vectors, is found to act in a specified direction.

What an ecosystem is composed of. Composition could include water, minerals, trees, snags, wildlife, soil, microorganisms, and certain plant species,

compound tide
A harmonic tidal (or tidal current) constituent with a speed equal to the sum or difference of the speeds of two or more elementary constituents. The presence of compound tides is usually attributed to shallow water conditions.

A tree that produces cones, such as a pine, spruce, or fir tree.

connectivity (of habitats)
The linkage of similar but separated vegetation stands by patches, corridors,or "stepping stones" of like vegetation. This term can also refer to the degree to which similar habitats are linked.

the management of a natural resource so that it can be sustained over the long-term.

conservation biology
a multidisciplinary science that has developed to deal with the crisis of declining biological diversity.

constants, current
See current constants.

constants, harmonic
See harmonic constants.

constants, tidal
See tidal constants.

One of the harmonic elements in a mathematical expression for the tide-producing force and in corresponding formulas for the tide or tidal current. Each constituent represents a periodic change or variation in the relative positions of the Earth, Moon, and Sun. A single constituent is usually written in the form y = A cos (at + ), in which y is a function of time as expressed by the symbol t and is reckoned from a specific origin. The coefficient A is called the amplitude of the constituent and is a measure of its relative importance. The angle (at + ) changes uniformly and its value at any time is called the phase of the constituent. The speed of the constituent is the rate of change in its phase and is represented by the symbol a in the formula. The quantity a is the phase of the constituent at the initial instant from which the time is reckoned. The period of the constituent is the time required for the phase to change through 360 and is the cycle of the astronomical condition represented by the constituent.

constituent day
The time of the rotation of the Earth with respect to a fictitious celestial body representing one of the periodic elements in the tidal forces. It approximates in length the lunar or solar day and corresponds to the period of a diurnal constituent or twice the period of a semidiurnal constituent. The term is not applicable to the long-period constituents.

constituent hour
One twenty-fourth part of a constituent day.

consumptive use
Use of resources that reduces the supply, such as logging and mining.

continental shelf
(1) The zone bordering a continent extending from the line of permanent immersion to the DEPTH, usually about 100 m to 200 m, where there is a marked or rather steep descent toward the great depths. (2) The area under active LITTORAL processes during the Holocene period. (3) The region of the oceanic bottom that extends outward from the shoreline with an average slope of less than 1:100, to a line where the gradient begins to exceed 1:40 (the continental slope).

continental slope
The declivity from the offshore border of the continental shelf to oceanic depths. It is characterized by a marked increase in slope.

A line drawn on a map connecting points of the same elevation.

contour current
A bottom current that flows parallel to the slopes of the continental margin (along the contour rather than down the slope).

Contour line
A line connecting points, on a land surface or sea bottom, which have equal elevation. It is called an isobath when connecting points of equal depth below a datum.

control current station
A current station at which continuous velocity observations have been made over a minimum period of 29 days. Its purpose is to provide data for computing accepted values of the harmonic and nonharmonic constants essential to tidal current predictions and circulatory studies. The data series from this station serves as the control for the reduction of relatively short series from subordinate current stations through the method of comparison of simultaneous observations. See current station and subordinate current station.

control network
Geodetic control together with the measured or adjusted values of the distances, angels, directions, or heights used in determining the coordinates of the control.

control station
See primary control tide station, secondary control tide station, and control current station.

control, geodetic
A set of control stations established by geodetic methods.

control, ground
A point or set of points, the coordinates of which have been determined by survey, used for fixing the scale and position of a photogrammetrically determined network.

control, horizontal
The geometric data relating to the horizontal coordinates of a control station.

control, photogrammetric
Geodetic or other control established to provide scale, location, and orientation for photogrammetric network.

control, vertical
The elevations (or approximations thereto) associated with control points.

controlling depth
The least depth in the navigable parts of a waterway, governing the maximum draft of vessels that can enter.

coordinate system
A set of rules for specifying how coordinates are to be assigned to points.

corange line
A line passing through places of equal tidal range.

An abrasion-resistant fabric sometimes used in waders and boots. Dacron A delicate polyester fiber used for fishing line or even sometimes clothing lining.

(1) A cylindrical sample extracted from a beach or seabed to investigate the types and depths of sediment layers. (2) An inner, often much less permeable portion of a breakwater, or barrier beach.

coriolis effect
Force due to the Earth's rotation, capable of generating currents. It causes moving bodies to be deflected to the right in the Northern Hemisphere and to the left in the Southern Hemisphere. The "force" is proportional to the speed and latitude of the moving object. It is zero at the equator and maximum at the poles.

coriolis force
A term in the relative hydrodynamic equations of motion that takes into account the effect of the Earth's rotation on moving objects (including air and water) when viewed with reference to a coordinate system attached to the rotating Earth. The horizontal component is directed 90 to the right (when looking in the direction of motion) in the Northern Hemisphere and 90 to the left in the Southern. The horizontal component is zero along the Equator; also, when the object is at rest relative to the Earth. The Coriolis acceleration = 2vU sin : where v is the speed of the object, U is the angular velocity of the Earth, and is the latitude. Named for Gaspard Gustave de Coriolis who published his formulation in 1835.

corrected current
A relatively short series of current observations from a subordinate station to which a factor is applied to adjust the current to a more representative value based on a relatively long series from a nearby control station. See current and total current.

Elements of the landscape that connect similar areas. Streamside vegetation may create a corridor of willows and hardwoods between meadows where wildlife feed.

A group of units of cross-bedding which shows a uniform direction of current flow.

cotidal hour
The average interval between the Moon's transit over the meridian of Greenwich and the time of the following high water at any place. This interval may be expressed either in solar or lunar time. When expressed in solar time, it is the same as the Greenwich high water interval. When expressed in lunar time, it is equal to the Greenwich high water interval multiplied by the factor 0.966.

cotidal line
A line on a chart or map passing through places having the same cotidal hour.

A secondary current usually setting in a direction opposite to that of a main current.

A small sheltered recess in a shore or coast, generally inside a larger embayment.

Any feature that conceals wildlife or fish. Cover may be dead or live vegetation, boulders, or undercut streambanks. Animals use cover to escape from predators, rest, or feed.

cover forage ratio
The ratio of hiding cover to foraging areas for wildlife species.

cover type (forest cover type)
Stands of a particular vegetation type that are composed of similar species. The aspen cover type contains plants distinct from the pinyon-juniper cover type.

created opening
An opening in the forest cover created by the application of even-aged silvicultural practices.

(1) A stream, less predominant than a river, and generally tributary to a river. (2) A small tidal channel through a coastal marsh.

Traditional satchel (bag) in which anglers pack their catch during fishing.

Very slow, continuous downslope movement of soil or debris.

An indented or wavy shoreline beach form, with the regular seaward- pointing parts rounded rather than sharp, as in the cuspate type.

Tuft on the head.

The highest point in a propagating or standing wave. See high water and tidal wave.

Feathers covering underside of base of tail. Synonym(s): undertail coverts. In picture it is referred to as undertail coverts.

critical habitat
a term used in the Endangered Species Act, includes areas in which are found the physical and biological features essential to the conservation of a species.

fostering- a captive propagation technique in which the young or eggs of one species are raised by another species.

cross sea
Confused, irregular state of the sea due to different groups of waves from different directions raised by local winds.

An arrangement of relatively thin layers of rock inclined at an angle to the more nearly horizontal bedding planes of the larger rock unit. Also referred to as cross-stratification.

Perpendicular to the shoreline.

Top of the head.

crown height
The distance from the ground to the base of the crown of a tree.

A class of arthropod animals having jointed feet and mandibles, two pairs of antennae, and segmented, chitin-encased bodies.

Upper ridge on bill.

cultural resource
The remains of sites, structures, or objects used by people in the past; this can be historical or pre-historic.

cumulative effects
Effects on the environment that result from separate, individual actions that, collectively, become significant over time.

Generally, a horizontal movement of water. Currents may be classified as tidal and non-tidal. Tidal currents are caused by gravitational interactions between the Sun, Moon, and Earth and are part of the same general movement of the sea that is manifested in the vertical rise and fall, called tide. Tidal currents are periodic with a net velocity of zero over the particular tidal cycle. See tidal wave. Non-tidal currents include the permanent currents in the general circulatory systems of the sea as well as temporary currents arising from more pronounced meteorological variability. Current, however, is also the British equivalent of our non-tidal current. See total current.

current constants
Tidal current relations that remain practically constant for any particular locality. Current constants are classified as harmonic and non-harmonic. The harmonic constants consist of the amplitudes and epochs of the harmonic constituents, and the non-harmonic constants include the velocities and intervals derived directly from the current observations.

current curve
A graphic representation of the flow of the current. In the reversing type of tidal current, the curve is referred to rectangular coordinates with time represented by the abscissa and the speed of the current by the ordinate, the flood speeds being considered as positive and the ebb speeds as negative. In general, the current curve for a reversing tidal current approximates a cosine curve.

current diagram
A graphic table showing the speeds of the flood and ebb currents and the times of slacks and strengths over a considerable stretch of the channel of a tidal waterway, the times being referred to tide or tidal current phases at some reference station.

current difference
Difference between the time of slack water (or minimum current) or strength of current in any locality and the time of the corresponding phase of the tidal current at a reference station for which predictions are given in the Tidal Current Tables.

current direction
Same as set.

current ellipse
A graphic representation of a rotary current in which the velocity of the current at different hours of the tidal cycle is represented by radius vectors and vectoral angles. A line joining the extremities of the radius vectors will form a curve roughly approximating an ellipse. The cycle is completed in one-half tidal day or in a whole tidal day, according to whether the tidal current is of the semidiurnal or the diurnal type. A current of the mixed type will give a curve of two unequal loops each tidal day.

current hour
The mean interval between the transit of the Moon over the meridian of Greenwich and the time of strength of flood, modified by the times of slack water (or minimum current) and strength of ebb. In computing the mean current hour, an average is obtained of the intervals for the following phases: flood strength, slack (or minimum) before flood increased by 3.10 hours (one-fourth of tidal cycle), slack (or minimum) after flood decreased by 3.10 hours, and ebb strength increased or decreased by 6.21 hours (one-half of tidal cycle). Before taking the average, the four phases are made comparable by the addition or rejection of such multiples of 12.42 hours as may be necessary. The current hour is usually expressed in solar time, but if lunar time is desired, the solar hour should be multiplied by the factor 0.966.

current line
A graduated line attached to a current pole used in measuring the velocity of the current. The line is marked in such a manner that the speed of the current, expressed in knots and tenths, is indicated directly by the length of line carried out by the current pole in a specified interval of time. When marked for a 60-second run, the principal divisions for the whole knots are spaced at 101.33 feet and the subdivisions for tenths of knots are spaced at 10.13 feet. The current line is also known as a log line.

current meter
An instrument for measuring the speed and direction or just the speed of a current. The measurements are Eulerian when the meter is fixed or moored at a specific location. Current meters can be mechanical, electric, electromagnetic, acoustic, or combination thereof.

current pole
A pole used in observing the velocity of the current. The pole formerly used by the Coast and Geodetic Survey was about 3 inches in diameter and 15 feet long, and was weighted at one end to float upright with the top about 1 foot out of water. Shorter poles were used when necessary for shallow water. In use, the pole is attached to the current line but separated from the graduated portion by an ungraded section of approximately 100 feet, known as the stray line. As the pole is carried out from an observing vessel by the current, the amount of line passing from the vessel during a specific time interval indicates the speed of the current. The set is obtained from a relative bearing from the vessel to the pole. The bearing is then related to the ship's compass and converted to true. See pelorus.

current station
The geographic location at which current observations are conducted. Also, the facilities used to make current observations. These may include a buoy, ground tackle, current meters, recording mechanism, and radio transmitter. See control current station and subordinate current station (1).

One of a series of short ridges on the foreshore separated by crescent-shaped troughs spaced at more or less regular intervals. Between these cusps are hollows. The cusps are spaced at somewhat uniform distances along beaches. They represent a combination of constructive and destructive processes.

Form of beach shoreline involving sharp seaward-pointing cusps (normally at regular intervals) between which the shoreline follows a smooth arc.

cuspate foreland
A large, sandy cusp-shaped projection of the coast.

cuspate sandkey
A cusp-shaped sand island.

cuspate spit
A sandy cusp-shaped projection of the shoreline, found on both sides of some lagoons.

cyclonic ring
A meander breaking off from the main current and spinning in a counter-clockwise direction in the northern hemisphere (clockwise in southern).


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