MarLIN Glossary

Glossary items

water quality

1) The nature of a body of water in terms of its physical (for instance, suspended sediment load) and chemical (for instance, salinity) characteristics. 2) The degree of contamination of water. See 'classification (water quality)'.

wave exposed

Coasts that face the prevailing wind but which have a degree of shelter because of extensive shallow areas offshore, offshore obstructions, or a restricted (less than 90¦) window to open water. These sites are not generally exposed to large waves or regular swell. 2)

wave exposure

The degree of wave action on an open shore, governed by the distance of open sea over which the wind may blow to generate waves (the fetch) and the strength and incidence of the winds (Hawkins & Jones 1992). Expressed as a descriptive scale for MNCR recording. Cf. 'exposed', 'extremely exposed', 'sheltered', 'ultra-sheltered', 'very exposed', 'very sheltered'.

Wentworth scale

A scale of sediment particle size categories described by Wentworth (1922), based on a doubling above, or halving below, a fixed reference diameter of 1 mm, and with descriptive class terms ranging from boulder (> 256 mm) to clay and colloid (< 0.004 mm). This scale is used as the basis of the MNCR and most other sediment classifications. The Wentworth scale is transformed to the phi () scale for statistical analysis of sediments.


In the form of a whip.


Any one complete turn (360 degrees) of a coiled molluscan shell (Ruppert & Barnes, 1996).