Transverse valley

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The River Arc, near Aussois, which runs through one of the largest transverse valleys of the Western Alps Gorges sous Forts de l'Esseilon 01 by Line1.jpg
The River Arc, near Aussois, which runs through one of the largest transverse valleys of the Western Alps

A transverse valley is a valley which cuts at right angles across a ridge [1] or, in mountainous terrain a valley that generally runs at right angles to the line of the main mountain chain or crest. Its geomorphological counterpart is the longitudinal valley.

Valley Low area between hills, often with a river running through it.

A valley is a low area between hills or mountains typically with a river running through it. In geology, a valley or dale is a depression that is longer than it is wide. The terms U-shaped and V-shaped are descriptive terms of geography to characterize the form of valleys. Most valleys belong to one of these two main types or a mixture of them, at least with respect to the cross section of the slopes or hillsides.

Ridge A geological feature consisting of a chain of mountains or hills that form a continuous elevated crest for some distance

A ridge or a mountain ridge is a geological feature consisting of a chain of mountains or hills that form a continuous elevated crest for some distance. The sides of the ridge slope away from narrow top on either side.The line along the crest formed by the highest points, with the terrain dropping down on either side, is called the ridgeline. Ridges are usually termed hills or mountains as well, depending on size.

Mountain A large landform that rises fairly steeply above the surrounding land over a limited area

A mountain is a large landform that rises above the surrounding land in a limited area, usually in the form of a peak. A mountain is generally steeper than a hill. Mountains are formed through tectonic forces or volcanism. These forces can locally raise the surface of the earth. Mountains erode slowly through the action of rivers, weather conditions, and glaciers. A few mountains are isolated summits, but most occur in huge mountain ranges.

During the course of a long valley, both forms may alternate.

Geologically transverse valleys frequently form a water gap where, during the course of earth history, the erosion of a river or large stream cuts a path through a mountain or hill range that stands tectonically at right angles to it.

Water gap opening or notch which flowing water has carved through a mountain range

A water gap is a gap that flowing water has carved through a mountain range or mountain ridge and that still carries water today. Such gaps that no longer carry water currents are called wind gaps. Water gaps and wind gaps often offer a practical route for road and rail transport to cross the mountain barrier.

River Natural flowing watercourse

A river is a natural flowing watercourse, usually freshwater, flowing towards an ocean, sea, lake or another river. In some cases a river flows into the ground and becomes dry at the end of its course without reaching another body of water. Small rivers can be referred to using names such as stream, creek, brook, rivulet, and rill. There are no official definitions for the generic term river as applied to geographic features, although in some countries or communities a stream is defined by its size. Many names for small rivers are specific to geographic location; examples are "run" in some parts of the United States, "burn" in Scotland and northeast England, and "beck" in northern England. Sometimes a river is defined as being larger than a creek, but not always: the language is vague.

Stream A body of surface water flowing down a channel

A stream is a body of water with surface water flowing within the bed and banks of a channel. The stream encompasses surface and groundwater fluxes that respond to geological, geomorphological, hydrological and biotic controls.

The Val de Travers in the Jura Mountains is a longitudinal valley, despite its name.

Jura Mountains mountain chain in Switzerland

The Jura Mountains are a sub-alpine mountain range located north of the Western Alps, mainly following the course of the France–Switzerland border. The Jura separates the Rhine and Rhône basins, forming part of the watershed of each.

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Transverse wave moving wave that consists of oscillations occurring perpendicular (right angled) to the direction of energy transfer (or the propagation of the wave)

A transverse wave is a moving wave that consists of oscillations occurring perpendicular to the direction of energy transfer.

Longitudinal wave waves in which the displacement of the medium is in the same direction as, or the opposite direction to, the direction of propagation of the wave

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Mountain chain row of mountains within a larger mountain range

A mountain chain is a row of high mountain summits, a linear sequence of interconnected or related mountains, or a contiguous ridge of mountains within a larger mountain range. The term is also used for elongated fold mountains with several parallel chains.

Metacentric height measurement of the initial static stability of a floating body

The metacentric height (GM) is a measurement of the initial static stability of a floating body. It is calculated as the distance between the centre of gravity of a ship and its metacentre. A larger metacentric height implies greater initial stability against overturning. The metacentric height also influences the natural period of rolling of a hull, with very large metacentric heights being associated with shorter periods of roll which are uncomfortable for passengers. Hence, a sufficiently, but not excessively, high metacentric height is considered ideal for passenger ships.

Crevasse A deep crack, or fracture, in an ice sheet or glacier

A crevasse is a deep crack, or fracture, found in an ice sheet or glacier, as opposed to a crevice that forms in rock. Crevasses form as a result of the movement and resulting stress associated with the shear stress generated when two semi-rigid pieces above a plastic substrate have different rates of movement. The resulting intensity of the shear stress causes a breakage along the faces.

Transverse Ranges mountain range in California

The Transverse Ranges are a group of mountain ranges of southern California, in the Pacific Coast Ranges physiographic region in North America. The Transverse Ranges begin at the southern end of the California Coast Ranges and lie within Santa Barbara, Ventura, Los Angeles, San Bernardino and Riverside counties. The Peninsular Ranges lie to the south. The name Transverse Ranges is due to their east–west orientation, making them transverse to the general northwest–southeast orientation of most of California's coastal mountains.

Miter joint

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Longitudinal engine

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Transverse sinuses

The transverse sinuses, within the human head, are two areas beneath the brain which allow blood to drain from the back of the head. They run laterally in a groove along the interior surface of the occipital bone. They drain from the confluence of sinuses to the sigmoid sinuses, which ultimately connect to the internal jugular vein. See diagram : labeled under the brain as "SIN. TRANS.".

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An aircraft in flight is free to rotate in three dimensions: yaw, nose left or right about an axis running up and down; pitch, nose up or down about an axis running from wing to wing; and roll, rotation about an axis running from nose to tail. The axes are alternatively designated as vertical, transverse, and longitudinal respectively. These axes move with the vehicle and rotate relative to the Earth along with the craft. These definitions were analogously applied to spacecraft when the first manned spacecraft were designed in the late 1950s.

Transversal (geometry)

In geometry, a transversal is a line that passes through two lines in the same plane at two distinct points. Transversals play a role in establishing whether two other lines in the Euclidean plane are parallel. The intersections of a transversal with two lines create various types of pairs of angles: consecutive interior angles, corresponding angles, and alternate angles. By Euclid's parallel postulate, if the two lines are parallel, consecutive interior angles are supplementary, corresponding angles are equal, and alternate angles are equal.

The Noor River is a river of northern Iran in Mazandaran Province, Noor County. It flows through the Alborz mountain range, generally eastward, past the town of Baladeh into the Haraz River.

Anatomical plane plane used to transect the human body, in order to describe the location of structures or the direction of movements

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Longitudinal framing is a method of ship construction in which large, widely spaced transverse frames are used in conjunction with light, closely spaced longitudinal members. This method, Isherwood felt, lent a ship much greater longitudinal strength than in ships built in the traditional method, where a series of transverse frames were fit together closely from the keel upwards.

Longitudinal valley

A longitudinal valley is an elongated valley found between two almost parallel mountain chains in geologically young fold mountains such as the Alps, Carpathians, Andes or the highlands of Central Asia. They are often occupied and shaped by a subsequent stream. The term is frequently used if a mountain range also has prominent transverse valleys, where rivers cut through the mountain chains in so-called water gaps.


  1. Whittow, John (1984). Dictionary of Physical Geography. London: Penguin, 1984, p. 548. ISBN   0-14-051094-X.