Scientific Glossary

Glossary of terms and abbreviations relevant to the International Seabed Authority and the documents it produces

Please note that this is a constantly evolving document.

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Titlesort descending
Taxon

A taxonomic group of any rank. The major taxon are Kingdom, Phylum, Class, Order, Family, Genus and Species where each group is a sub-division of the previous.

Taxonomic

Pertaining to taxonomy. The major taxonomic groups are Kingdom, Phylum, Class, Order, Family, Genus and Species where each group is a sub-division of the previous.

Taxonomy

Orderly classification of animals or plants according to their presumed natural relationship, grouping organisms into taxon based on shared characteristics.

Tectonic Plate

A rigid plate, 100-150km thick, which is part of Earth's surface and moves slowly across the Earth's internal structure relative to other tectonic plates.

Temporal Scales

Scales characteristic of dimensions in time. Also pertains to the temporal period of sampling. Compare to spatial scales

Thermocline

A layer of water in which there is a rapid change of temperature with depth. Compare to halocline, nutricline and pycnocline.

Third-Level Impacts

Synonymous with indirect impacts.

Tiburon

American Remotely Operated Vehicle.

TN

Total Nitrogen.

TOC

Total Organic Carbon.

Transect

The line traversed by a ship during a sampling regime (horizontal transect) or samples/sampling gear during sampling (vertical transect). Vertical transects can be through the water column, sediment, or both.

Transmissometer

Device used to measure the attenuation of light through a medium such as of water. Data can be correlated to the amount of particles present.

Trench

A depression in the seafloor lying below 6000m.

Triple Junction

A point or area where three tectonic plates meet.

Trophic Level

The position of an organism in a food chain or food web. For example primary producer (plants), primary consumer (herbivores) orsecondary consumer (carnivores ). Can also refer to the state of nutrients in a water body, for example eutrophic or oligotrophic.

Turbidity

The measure of the total amount of particular matter in a volume of water. A measure of "cloudiness".