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Escarpment   /ɛskˈɑrpmənt/   Listen
Escarpment

noun
1.
A long steep slope or cliff at the edge of a plateau or ridge; usually formed by erosion.  Synonym: scarp.
2.
A steep artificial slope in front of a fortification.  Synonyms: escarp, protective embankment, scarp.






WordNet 3.0 © 2010 Princeton University








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"Escarpment" Quotes from Famous Books



... had come to the height of the hill, to where it turned a corner and ran level along the escarpment of the cliffs that dominated the sea plain, I saw below me a considerable stretch of country, between the fall of the ground and the distant shore, and under the daylight which was now full and clear one could perceive that all this plain was packed with an intense cultivation, with houses, ...
— On Nothing & Kindred Subjects • Hilaire Belloc

... familiar outline of the gorge at its eastward end, and because of the ruins of the town that rose steeply on either lip of this gorge. And from that he made out other points, Leith Hill, the sandy wastes of Aldershot, and so forth. The Downs escarpment was set with gigantic slow-moving wind-wheels. Save where the broad Eadhamite Portsmouth Road, thickly dotted with rushing shapes, followed the course of the old railway, the gorge of the Wey ...
— When the Sleeper Wakes • Herbert George Wells

... peculiarity it comes about that each stratum extends for miles with an unbroken sameness which is extremely monotonous to the traveler; but finally its dip carries it under the next succeeding stratum, whose edge appears as an escarpment or cliff, and this in turn stretches out flat and uninteresting to the horizon. To the eye it appears an ideal country for traveling, but only a very slight experience is necessary to reveal its deceptiveness. Everywhere the flat mesas are cut ...
— Navaho Houses, pages 469-518 • Cosmos Mindeleff

... ice, in an unceasing series of changes, so that however varied the surface may be, with hill and dale, plains and uplands, mountain ranges and deep intervening valleys, these are as nothing to the diversities of interior structure, as exhibited in the sides of every alpine valley or precipitous escarpment, and made known to us by the work of the miner and the well-borer in ...
— Is Mars Habitable? • Alfred Russel Wallace

... down from the top of the tower through an embrasure. The entire facade sheered straight below me. I perceived in the depth, on top of a long stone support that extended down the wall directly beneath me to the escarpment, so that its form was lost, a sort of round basin. Rain-water had collected there and formed a narrow mirror at the bottom; there were also a tuft of grass with flowers in it, and a swallow's nest. Thus in a space only two feet in diameter were a lake, a garden and ...
— The Memoirs of Victor Hugo • Victor Hugo

... blaze of white and gold, challenging the cliffs in their display of colour. A path climbs gradually by an old wind-torn wood up the landward side of Bindon Hill, with gorgeous rearward views across the fields of Monastery Farm to the northern escarpment of the Purbeck Hills. The path very soon reaches the top of Bindon that seems to drop directly to Mupe Bay and its jagged surf-covered rocks. In two miles from Arish Mel the path ends directly above ...
— Wanderings in Wessex - An Exploration of the Southern Realm from Itchen to Otter • Edric Holmes

... of Great Britain and Ireland a flat terrace of unequal breadth, backed by an escarpment of varied height and character, which is known to geologists as the old coast-line. On this flat terrace most of the seaport towns of the empire are built. The subsoil which underlies its covering of vegetable mould consists ...
— The Testimony of the Rocks - or, Geology in Its Bearings on the Two Theologies, Natural and Revealed • Hugh Miller

... was made in England. The Niagara was assigned by the United States, and the Agamemnon by England, each attended by smaller vessels, to lay the cable. In August, 1857, the Niagara left the coast of Ireland, dropping her cable into the sea. Even when it dropped suddenly down the steep escarpment to the great plateau the current still flowed. But through the carelessness of an assistant the cable parted. That was the beginning of mishaps. The task was not to be so easily done, and the enterprise was postponed until the ...
— Steam Steel and Electricity • James W. Steele

... Mesa Verde is the northern edge of a Cretaceous, coal-bearing, sandstone deposit called the Mesaverde group, which dips beneath the San Juan Basin of New Mexico. An abrupt retreating escarpment commonly forms on arid plateaus underlain by horizontal rocks of unequal strength, and characterizes the borders of mesas. Such an escarpment forms the North Rim of the Mesa Verde. However, the dip of the rocks has channelled ...
— Mammals of Mesa Verde National Park, Colorado • Sydney Anderson

... upwards to the left, those most distant peaks themselves lying over one another in the same direction. In the Daphne hunting with Leucippus, the mountains on the left descend in two precipices to the plain, each of which is formed by a vast escarpment of the beds whose upper surfaces are shown between the two cliffs, sinking with an even slope from the summit of the lowest to the base of the highest, under which they evidently descend, being exposed in this manner for a length of five ...
— Modern Painters Volume I (of V) • John Ruskin

... the Quaternary Period was not the last, by any means, though it was the last of great size. There were many small ones later. Several even have occurred within historic times. On March 26, 1872, a sudden earth movement left an escarpment twenty-five feet high at the foot of the range in Owens Valley. The village of Lone Pine was levelled by the accompanying earthquake. John Muir, who was in the Yosemite Valley at the time, describes in eloquent phrase the accompanying earthquake which was felt there. ...
— The Book of the National Parks • Robert Sterling Yard

... twin parallel chains eastwards as far as 99 deg. , if not farther. The Ek-tagh or Mongolian Altai, which separates the Kobdo basin on the north from the Irtysh basin on the south, is a true border-range, in that it rises in a steep and lofty escarpment from the Dzungarian depression (1550 to 3000 ft.), but descends on the north by a relatively short slope to the plateau (4000-5500 ft.) of north-western Mongolia. East of 94 deg. the range is continued by a double series of mountain chains, all of which exhibit less sharply ...
— Project Gutenberg Encyclopedia

... its desolate mountains, which has thus been described is plainly separated from the upper region of plateau by the Mogollon Escarpment, which, beginning in the Sierra Madre of New Mexico, extends northwestward across the Colorado far into Utah, where it ends on the margin of the Great Basin. The rise by this escarpment varies from 3,000 to more than 4,000 feet. The step from the lowlands to the ...
— Canyons of the Colorado • J. W. Powell

... mountain, and discovered a trail which led up a forested shoulder to the right of the main peaks. An hour of steady climbing brought us to the summit of the ridge where we struck into the woods toward a snow-field on the opposite slope. The trail led us along the brink of a steep escarpment from which we could look over the valley and away into the blue distance toward Li-chiang. Three thousand feet below us the roof of our temple gleamed from among the sheltering pine trees, and the herds of sheep and cattle massed ...
— Camps and Trails in China - A Narrative of Exploration, Adventure, and Sport in Little-Known China • Roy Chapman Andrews and Yvette Borup Andrews

... their looks and gestures it can be told they are watching the waggon train, and interested in its every movement; as also taking care not to be themselves observed by those belonging to it. To avoid this they keep back from the crest of the escarpment; so far, it would not be possible to see them from any part of the ...
— The Death Shot - A Story Retold • Mayne Reid

... castle of Chapultepec was stormed. First the outer works were scaled, which made them much more desirable, and the moat was removed by means of a stomach-pump and blotting-pad, and then the escarpment was up-ended, the Don John tower was knocked silly by a solid ...
— Comic History of the United States • Bill Nye

... continental shelf: not specified territorial sea: 12 nm International disputes: territorial dispute with Qatar over the Hawar Islands; maritime boundary with Qatar Climate: arid; mild, pleasant winters; very hot, humid summers Terrain: mostly low desert plain rising gently to low central escarpment Natural resources: oil, associated and nonassociated natural gas, fish Land use: arable land: 2% permanent crops: 2% meadows and pastures: 6% forest and woodland: 0% other: 90% Irrigated land: 10 km2 (1989 est.) Environment: subsurface ...
— The 1993 CIA World Factbook • United States. Central Intelligence Agency.

... coast extends, a grand escarpment of cliffs and headlands, past Robin Hood's Bay, with its rocky barriers, the North Cheek and the South Cheek, to the little harbor of another watering-place, Whitby. The cliffs here are more precipitous and the situation even ...
— England, Picturesque and Descriptive - A Reminiscence of Foreign Travel • Joel Cook

... out of his stupid lethargy. Before him spread a great field of bowlders with not a slope or a ridge or a mesa or an escarpment. Not even a tip of a spur rose in the background. He rubbed his sore eyes. Was this ...
— The Heritage of the Desert • Zane Grey

... Bahia Blanca, the river Colorado flows between two plains, apparently from thirty to forty feet in height. Of these plains, the southern one slopes up to the foot of the great sandstone plateau of the Rio Negro; and the northern one against an escarpment of the Pampean deposit; so that the Colorado flows in a valley fifty miles in width, between the upper escarpments. I state this, because on the low plain at the foot of the northern escarpment, I crossed an immense accumulation of high sand-dunes, estimated by the Gauchos ...
— South American Geology - also: - Title: Geological Observations On South America • Charles Darwin

... a long roll and slope into gray obscurity. Soon Jane left the trail and rode into the sage, and presently she dismounted and threw her bridle. The men did likewise. Then, on foot, they followed her, coming out at length on the rim of a low escarpment. She passed by several little ridges of earth to halt before a faintly defined mound. It lay in the shade of a sweeping sage-brush close to the edge of the promontory; and a rider could have jumped his horse over ...
— Riders of the Purple Sage • Zane Grey

... the line that held his prisoners in tow to an Armenian, and we climbed up together on foot. Around the corner of the spur, within fifty feet of where Will stood, was an almost sheer escarpment, and at the foot of that, a thousand feet below us, with ramparts of living rock on all four sides, crouched a little village fondled in ...
— The Eye of Zeitoon • Talbot Mundy

... sharpshooters, over rocks and gullies, even over mines, which the Mexicans had no chance to set off. Cannon roared and volleys of musketry were fired at the assailants, but they dashed over the redoubt, up, still up, to the escarpment, and over it they tumbled. Meanwhile the Mexicans were standing on the city walls and peering out from the spires of the cathedral. They saw, as the Americans pushed on and up, the Stars and Stripes appear, now to the right, now to the left, as point after point ...
— The Little Book of the Flag • Eva March Tappan

... the convent of Essalona was perched on a beetling crag on the northern side of the Sarras mountains. There the mighty ridge, with its belts of virgin pinewood and its stony knolls and pastoral glens, breaks off suddenly in a precipitous escarpment; and, a thousand feet below, the land is an immense green plain, sweeping away to the blue limits of the north. It is as though the sea had once on a time run up to the mountain wall and torn down the tawny rocks for sand and shingle, ...
— A Child's Book of Saints • William Canton

... layer, stratum, strata, course, bed, zone, substratum, substrata, floor, flag, stage, story, tier, slab, escarpment; table, tablet; dess[obs3]; flagstone; board, plank; trencher, platter. plate; lamina, lamella; sheet, foil; wafer; scale, flake, peel; coat, pellicle; membrane, film; leaf; slice, shive[obs3], cut, rasher, shaving, integument &c. (covering) 223; eschar[obs3]. ...
— Roget's Thesaurus

... in its size and ornateness. But his rifle was of the latest American pattern, and in place of the conventional Colt's he carried an automatic pistol. As his horse patiently clambered with him up towards the top of the escarpment the man gazed indolently about between half-closed eyelids and inhaled the smoke from an unbroken ...
— Out of the Depths - A Romance of Reclamation • Robert Ames Bennet

... are without their "Lovers' Leap"; but the tradition of this one is singular, I believe. It overhangs a dark pool, midway down a west country valley—a sheer escarpment of granite, its lip lying but a stone's throw from the high-road, that here finds its descent broken by a stiff knoll, over which it rises and topples ...
— Noughts and Crosses • Arthur Thomas Quiller-Couch

... sundown. We had been climbing steadily. The train shrieked twice, and unexpectedly slid out to the edge of the Likipia Escarpment. We looked down once more into ...
— African Camp Fires • Stewart Edward White

... in the ground, and the projecting cliff immediately at hand covered the path in its rise. His footsteps were now heard striking sharply upon the flinty road at a distance of about twenty or thirty yards, but still behind the escarpment. To save time, Cytherea prepared to ascend ...
— Desperate Remedies • Thomas Hardy

... there was no way of descending into the chaos of rock between the gloomy walls of the kloof, and she gave a little cry when Alan caught her by her hands and lowered her over the face of a ledge to a table-like escarpment below. He laughed at her fear when he dropped down beside her, and held her close as they crept back under the shelving face of the cliff to a hidden path that led downward, with a yawning chasm at their side. The trail widened as they descended, and at the last they reached the bottom, ...
— The Alaskan • James Oliver Curwood

... picturesque appearance to two causes—first, its magnificent and commanding position, on a rocky escarpment; and second, no doubt, to the many vicissitudes through which it has passed, the alterations and additions made necessary by time and constant war, and later, the entirely different uses to which the ...
— Bell's Cathedrals: The Cathedral Church of Durham - A Description of Its Fabric and A Brief History of the Episcopal See • J. E. Bygate

... situated on a chalk flat, 560 feet above sea. There are peeps of far distant country and the scenery is moderately pretty: its chief merit is its extreme rurality. I think I was never in a more perfectly quiet country. Three miles south of us the great chalk escarpment quite cuts us off from the low country of Kent, and between us and the escarpment there is not a village or gentleman's house, but only great woods and arable fields (the latter in sadly preponderant numbers) so that we are absolutely ...
— The Life and Letters of Charles Darwin, Volume I • Francis Darwin

... through the knee cap, a wound that incapacitated him from the fight thereafter. The elder Tenney fell and broke his shoulder blade and was stunned, though he was not shot. This left the fight upon the younger Tenney, who managed to climb a twelve-foot rocky escarpment. He reached down with his rifle and dragged up his father and Dodge. The three opportunely found a little cave in which they secreted themselves until reasonably rested, hearing the Indians searching for ...
— Mormon Settlement in Arizona • James H. McClintock



Words linked to "Escarpment" :   protective embankment, fortification, slope, scarp, escarp, incline, side, munition



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