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Glossary

Karst
A type of topography that is formed on limestone, gypsum, and other rocks, primarily by dissolution. Landforms associated with karst include sinkholes, caves, sinking streams, springs, and underground drainage. Because of the unique geologic and hydrologic features associated with highly developed subterranean networks, the scope of problems related to the karst environment is large.

Kelp
The common name for brown seaweed. It belongs to the family Laminariaceae. Kelp is a large, floating plant that grows in large masses (called kelp forests) and is held to the sea floor by a holdfast (a root-like structure).

Kerogen
Organic matter found in rock in the form of a mineraloid which is of indefinite composition, insoluble in petroleum solvents. It consists chiefly of low forms of plant life such as algae, of pollen, spores, spore coats, enzyme shells, coal, and protein material. Oil is formed from kerogen by heating.

Kerosene
A petroleum middle distillate (or a medium-light fraction in between gas oil and gasoline) with burning properties suitable for use as an illuminant when burned in wick lamps. Kerosene is used primarily for lighting and heating, but also as fuel for jet and turbo-propellor aircraft engines.

Kinetic energy
The energy that a body possesses by virtue of its mass and velocity. Also called the energy of motion.

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