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Glossary of Terms

Rain Shadow Effect
When a natural barrier (such as a mountain range) causes prevailing winds to dump their moisture before reaching the other side of the barrier. This usually results in one side of the barrier being substantially drier than the other, thus a “rain shadow.”
Reef
A physical structure (usually composed of rock, sand or coral) lying just beneath the surface of the ocean.
Resource Manager
A decision-maker concerned with the allocation and conservation of natural resources.
Rhizome
In a plant, an underground stem which grows horizontal to the ground and continually puts out new shoots and roots.
Ridge
An elevated crest of land called a ridge may form along the boundary between two tectonic plates when they move away from each other. The ridge is usually the result of increased volcanic activity as a new plate boundary is formed.
Rift
In geology, the gorge-like formations which occur when two tectonic plates move away from each other.
Riparian
Referring to areas in and around rivers.
River
A large stream of water which flows in a channel, usually to the ocean, a lake or another river.
Rain Shadow
A region which receives relatively low rainfall because it is sheltered from prevailing winds by mountains or hills.
Rogue Wave
An unusually large and powerful wave which usually occurs far out to sea and can present a serious danger to ships. What causes rogue waves is still not fully understood.

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