- The difference in elevation of an area between tops
of hills and bottoms of valleys.
Source: Leet, L. Don. 1982.
Physical Geology, 6th Edition. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall
- a. A term used loosely for the physical shape, configuration, or general
unevenness of a part of the Earth's surface, considered with reference to
variations of height and slope or to irregularities of the land surface;
the elevations or differences in elevation, considered collectively, of a
land surface. CF: topography
b. The vertical difference in elevation between the hilltops or mountain
summits and the lowlands or valleys of a given region. A region showing a
great variation in elevation has high relief, and one showing little
variation has low relief. AGI
c. The range of values over an anomaly or within an area; e.g., the
gravity relief for the magnitude of a gravity anomaly. AGI
d. An apparently rough surface of a crystal section under a microscope.
High relief indicates a great difference in index of refraction between
the crystal and its mounting medium. The relief is positive if the
refractive index of the mineral is greater than that of the medium, and
negative in the reverse case. Syn: shagreen
e. The result of the removal of tool material behind or adjacent to the
cutting edge to provide clearance and prevent rubbing (heel drag).
Dictionary of Mining, Mineral, and Related Terms