Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • adj. Of or relating to rain; rainy.
  • adj. Geology Marked or formed by abundant rainfall: pluvial periods; a pluvial lake.
  • n. Geology An extended period of abundant rainfall, especially such a period of the Pleistocene Epoch.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Of, pertaining to, or produced by rain
  • adj. occurring through the action of rain
  • n. a rainy period

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Of or pertaining to rain; rainy.
  • adj. Produced by the action of rain.
  • n. A priest's cope.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Rainy; humid: relating to rain; also, very rainy; characterized by great or extensive rainfall
  • In geology, depending on or arising from the action of rain.
  • n. Eccles., a cope: so called from its use in outdoor processions, etc., as a protection from the weather.

Etymologies

Latin pluviālis, from pluvia, rain; see pluvious.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Latin pluviālis ("rainy"). (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • The Quaternary period – which covers most of the recent period of vacillation between ice ages and pluvial ages – is the exception rather than the rule.

    Wonk Room » Stumped By Science: Michele Bachmann Calls CO2 ‘Harmless,’ ‘Negligible,’ ‘Necessary,’ ‘Natural’

  • The northern parts of the hotspot in Ecuador and the Colombian Chocó are characterized by extremely wet or pluvial forests that receive eight meters of annual rainfall and have a diversity per hectare of as many as 300 tree species.

    Biological diversity in Tumbes-Chocó-Magdalena

  • Overall, a warmer climate is very likely to lead to a shift toward a more pluvial runoff regime as a greater proportion of the annual precipitation falls as rain rather than snow; the magnitude of the peak of spring snowmelt declines; thawing permafrost increases near-surface storage and reduces runoff peaks; and a more active groundwater system augments base flows.

    Effects of climate change on general hydro-ecology in the Arctic

  • Two principal life zones on the island are defined by Holdridge: very humid tropical forest and the same with a transition to pluvial forest.

    Coiba National Park and its Special Zone of Marine Protection, Panama

  • They demonstrated that most rivers are very sensitive to temperature rises on the order of 1 to 3 ºC, and that nival (snow-dominated) rivers become less stable while pluvial (rain-dominated) rivers become more stable.

    Terrestrial Water Balance in the Arctic

  • The Mojave Playas are generally smaller in area than the Lahontan and Tonopah Playas (13h) and are not part of the broad Pleistocene pluvial basins that are found in the Central Basin and Range (13) to the north.

    Ecoregions of Nevada (EPA)

  • A probable shift to a more pluvial system with smaller and less intense freshet and ice breakup is very likely to decrease the frequency and magnitude of natural disturbances, and reduce the ability of flow systems to replenish riparian ecosystems, particularly river deltas.

    Key findings, science gaps, and recommendations for freshwater ecosystems in the ACIA

  • It is also one of the few places in the Neotropics with pluvial rainforest.

    Chocó-Darién moist forests

  • From Ribera, the following vegetation classifications were lumped under yungas: mountain rim yungas (Ceja de Monte en Yungas), humid montane yunga forests (Bosque húmedo montañoso de Yungas), and subandian pluvial forests (Bosque pluvial subandino).

    Bolivian Yungas

  • The following perennial tropical forest latifoliate elements were combined: low altitude pluvial, submontane pluvial, montane pluvial, typical cloud, low cloud over serpentine, low altitude evergreen mesophile, submontane evergreen mesophile, and coastal microphile.

    Cuban moist forests

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