Definitions

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

  • adj. Of, relating to, or occurring on or near the surface of the earth.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Of or pertaining to the surface of something.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Of or pertaining to a surface; superficial; in geology, relating to the phenomena of the land-surface, especially to the unconsolidated materials (drift, rock-waste) of the land-surface.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adj. pertaining to or occurring on or near the earth's surface

Etymologies

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

surf(ace) + (superf)icial.

Examples

  • Robert won by correctly spelling "surficial," defined as "of or relating to the boundary or portion of the boundary of a three-dimensional region and especially that of the earth."

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  • These kinds of solutions may not work everywhere because infiltration is influenced by surficial geology, but it's an approach worth considering when cottages are built.

    Report Card Gives Low Marks to City Council Members « PubliCola

  • It's sort of like reading a not-so-original HPL or REH pastiche ... the signature elements are all there (and you can show off the completed checklist to prove it!), but it's focusing so much on that surficial stuff that it ends up not capturing/expanding upon any of the subtleties or the "feel" of the original.

    "A test to bring my world apart."

  • And there's been more from the latest Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology, papers on the "rauisuchian" archosaur Batrachotomus kupferzellensis; the ontogeny of Stegosaurus; ontogenetic and taxonomic implications of pattern and transition of surficial bone texture of the centrosaurine frill; and Adeopapposaurus, a new prosauropod dinosaur from Argentina.

    "Fill the night with stories. The legend grows."

  • Patchy arctic wetlands are particularly sensitive to permafrost degradation that can link surficial waters to the supra-permafrost groundwater system.

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

  • In Montana, Ecoregion 42 has been divided into eleven level IV ecoregions (42b, 42d, and 42i through 42q) that separate areas of different terrain, land use, surficial deposits, soils, potential natural vegetation, and/or climate.

    Ecoregions of Montana (EPA)

  • In Montana, 17 level IV ecoregions (43a through 43e, 43g, 43k through 43q, and 43s through 43v) have been recognized; they separate areas of distinct terrain, land use, soil, surficial material, climate, and/or potential natural vegetation.

    Ecoregions of Montana (EPA)

  • Justification for establishment includes an outstanding example of traditional human interaction with the environment; the area also clearly exemplifies ongoing surficial geological processes.

    Banc d'Arguin National Park, Mauritania

  • In the summer, surficial flow is often absent from wide, sandy, lower reaches.

    Ecoregions of Oklahoma (EPA)

  • Seasonal soil freezing and thawing are the driving forces for many surficial processes that occur in areas with permafrost or seasonally frozen soils.

    Permafrost in the Arctic

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