Glossaire de A à Z


Backfilling

Updated on 06/09/2018
Définition
Sens commun
Work or the lifting of fill materials, generally intended to ensure the continuity of level for a structure.
Source
according to the National Centre for Textual and Lexical Resources

Bacteria

Updated on 13/07/2018
Définition
Sens technique
Extremely small unicellular prokaryotic microorganism, classified either in independent kingdom, neither animal nor plant, or classified with the fungi as Schizomycophita. Their form is highly variable, either living as saprophytes (soil, water, living organism), or as a parasite of humans, animals and plants.
Source
According to Ifremer

Bactericide

Updated on 06/09/2018
Définition
Sens commun
Substance, or property of a substance, that destroys bacteria. Some disinfectants and antibiotics are bactericidal.
Source
according to Wikipedia

Bacteriological pollution

Updated on 13/07/2018
Définition
Sens commun
Pollution containing bacteria of intestinal origin.
Source
According to Rhone-Mediterranean and Corsica Water Agency

Balanced and sustainable management of water resources

Updated on 19/06/2018
Définition
Sens réglementaire
According to the Water Act of 1992, it is a kind of management to ensure: the conservation of aquatic ecosystems, sites and wetlands; pollution control and recovery of water quality (etc); the development and protection of water resources; the use of water as an economic resource and distribution of that resource, and this to reconcile and meet different uses, activities or water-related work.
Source
According to the Ministry for the Environment and AFB

Ballast

Updated on 25/02/2019
Définition
Sens commun
Large capacity water tank used on boats. It is to be filled or emptied to optimise navigation (buoyancy and stability control)
Source
according to Wikipedia

Ballast water

Updated on 25/02/2019
Définition
Sens commun
Water contained in large tanks that can correct the trim of the boat and its balance. Ballast water is a problem during the emptying of the tank (deballasting) because species living in one part of the world are released into another zone, creating ecological disturbances. With the growth of international trade, and especially transoceanic maritime transport, problems arise because of this contribution of living organisms foreign to the local environment. Now, biological and chemical treatment systems must treat these volumes of water to limit the exchange of invasive species.
Source
according to ASTEE

Bank

Updated on 13/07/2018
Définition
Sens commun
Edge of a river (not to be misunderstood with "shore", the seaside). We distinguish the right bank (looking in the direction of the river flow - from upstream to downstream), the right bank is on the right) from the left bank looking in the direction of…
Source
According to Ifremer

Bankfull discharge bed

Updated on 13/07/2018
Définition
Sens technique

Limit beyond which the water spills into the floodplain. It corresponds to the high-flow (or morphogenetic flow). Calculating the width of the bankfull discharge bed is a convenient measurement unit to describe the relationship between the size of the watercourse and its

Source
According to AFB

Barcelona Convention

Updated on 06/09/2018
Définition
Sens technique
International Convention signed in 1976 and amended in 1995 to protect the marine and coastal environments of the Mediterranean Sea, while promoting regional and national plans contributing to sustainable development
Source
according to the European Union

Barrier beach

Updated on 04/12/2018
Définition
Sens commun
Sediment bar, mainly built by the waves, which is parallel or near the coastline and to which it is most often attached at one end. It separates the sea from a quieter coastal area, of the lagoon type, sheltered from the waves.
Source
according to the Encyclopaedic Dictionary of Biodiversity and Nature Conservation of 2017 and IOWater

Basel Convention

Updated on 06/09/2018
Définition
Sens technique
International Convention signed in 1989 and entered into force in 1992 to control the transboundary movements of hazardous wastes and their disposal to protect human health and the environment.
Source
according to the European Union

Baseline

Updated on 13/07/2018
Définition
Sens technique
Along the borders of a maritime State, it designates the broken line, defined by the Government, joining together the most advanced land areas. The limits of territorial waters (6 miles), the exclusive fishing zone (12 miles) and the Exclusive Economic Zone - EEZ (200 miles) are plotted from this line.
Source
According to Ifremer

Baseline scenario

Updated on 13/07/2018
Définition
Sens technique
Set of assumptions to assess the trends in pressure evolution (and therefore the status of water bodies) in a management cycle. The baseline scenario assesses the future quality of aquatic environments and is obtained by extending the current equipment rationale and trends and by applying basic measures. It participates in assessing the risk of not achieving the
Source
According to the Ministry for the Environment and AFB

Basic-stage flood

Updated on 13/07/2018
Définition
Sens réglementaire
A hundred-year flood or greater flood previously known if the latter is greater than the hundred-year flood (as defined in the circular of 24 January 1994).
Source
According to Rhine-Meuse Water Agency

Basin

Updated on 13/07/2018
Définition
Sens commun
Form indicating the overall configuration of the water body. It can be of the following types: "L", in the case of shallow lakes with thermal stratification of little extent and/or unstable (polymictic lakes) and a heavily dominant coastal zone; "P" in the case of deep lakes with a stable thermal stratification (monomictic or dimictic lakes) and a reduced coastal zone; "LP" in the case of lakes with both a stable stratified deep zone (monomictic or dimictic) and a wide coastal area, the
Source
According to AFB

Basin Committee

Updated on 13/07/2018
Définition
Sens réglementaire

Assembly gathering different public or private stakeholders, acting in the field of water in a basin or group of basins. The basin committee is consulted on the opportunity of significant activities of common interest planned in the basin, more generally, on all issues related to the management of water and aquatic environments. It defines the orientations of the water agency's actions and participates in its financial decision-making. It approves the assessment and river basin management plan (SDAGE) and prepares the register…

Source
According to the Ministry for the Environment and AFB

Basin Coordinator Prefect

Updated on 13/07/2018
Définition
Sens technique

Prefect of the region in which the basin committee has its home office. The Basin Coordinator Prefect facilitates and coordinates State policy regarding water law enforcement and water resources management in order to achieve unity and consistency in decentralized government actions on these issues in the regions and Departments concerned. He approves the river basin

Source
According to the Ministry for the Environment and AFB

Basin delegatee

Updated on 13/07/2018
Définition
Sens technique

Position of the regional director in charge of the environment working at the side of the Basin Coordinator Prefect. He helps the basin coordinator prefect in his tasks, takes care of the secretariat of the Basin Administrative Commission, facilitates and coordinates the activities of the decentralized government services involved in water and provides advice and technical assistance to basin organizations. He is member of the River-basin district level. He is especially in charge, under the authority of the Basin Coordinator Prefect, of the following tasks: to…

Source
According to the Ministry for the Environment and AFB

Basin master plan for water data

Updated on 04/07/2018
Définition
Sens technique

Document describing for each hydrographical basin the multi actor collaboration and the means required to build the information system for water (SIE). The plan must approach the production, the collect and the availability of data. It is approved by the prefect, after the consultation of the basin comity, the SIE users comity and the permanent commission of the CNE.

Source
According to Adour-Garonne Water Agency

Basket of representative goods (and services to the end user)

Updated on 13/07/2018
Définition
Sens technique

Basket, built by the statistical institutes, to monitor change in price levels for a number of products, weighted by their share in consumption. Price monitoring is done by permanent survey and sample.

Source
According to the Ministry for the Environment and IOWater

Bathing

Updated on 13/07/2018
Définition
Sens commun
Action to go bathing, i.e. to get immersed in water, even without swimming. The "bathing areas" are monitored by the departmental office responsible for public health. Under Community Law (and French law), they are considered as "bathing waters".
Source
According to Ifremer

Bathing area

Updated on 13/07/2018
Définition
Sens technique
Area where bathing is traditionally practiced by a large number of bathers, whether developed or not, and where there has not been a ban brought to the attention of the public, in accordance with Directive 76/160/EEC.
Source
According to the Ministry of Health

Bathing water

Updated on 13/07/2018
Définition
Sens commun
Inland surface water or parts thereof (a body of water, etc), running or stagnant waters, and marine waters in which bathing is explicitly authorized by the competent authorities, in so far as they meet European standards, and is not prohibited and is traditionally practiced by a large number of bathers.
Source
According to the Ministry for the Environment and AFB

Bathing Water Directive

Updated on 13/07/2018
Définition
Sens technique
Directive 76/160/EEC of the Council of 8 December 1975 concerning the quality of bathing waters. It concerns the quality of bathing waters with the exception of water intended for therapeutic purposes and water for swimming pools. Member States shall set values of physico-chemical and microbiological parameters applicable to bathing waters listed in the Annex to the Directive. This directive was transcribed into French law by Decree of 12/19/1991, which also transcribes other directives (fish life, shellfish waters, etc).
Source
According to the Ministry for the Environment and AFB

Bathymetry

Updated on 04/07/2018
Définition
Sens commun
Underwater equivalent of topography, i.e. description of the immersed relief through the study of the nature of the bottom of an aquatic environment and its depth. The results of these studies are drawn into bathymetric maps.
Source
According to Ifremer

Bay

Updated on 13/07/2018
Définition
Sens commun
Concavity in the coastline, usually widely open to the sea and with an order of magnitude of tens of kilometres. Beyond this order of magnitude, the term "Gulf" is used in the French language.
Source
According to Ifremer

Behavioural health risk

Updated on 13/07/2018
Définition
Sens technique
Health risk associated with the bathing activity but not directly related to water quality.
Source
According to Rhine-Meuse Water Agency

Benefit-transfer method

Updated on 19/06/2018
Définition
Sens technique
Method using the results of existing similar studies to estimate the value of an environmental good.
Source
According to the Ministry for the Environment

Benthic

Updated on 04/07/2018
Définition
Sens commun
Adjective that describes the water-sediment interface (= water-lithosphere interface) of an aquatic ecosystem, regardless of its depth (the bottom of lakes or of rivers or of the sea). Also describes an organism living on the river bottom or sea bed (macroinvertebrates, for example).
Source
According to the Ministry of Ecology

Benthic invertebrate

Updated on 04/07/2018
Définition
Sens commun
Organism which populates the bottom of rivers and lives on the surface in the interstices of the substrate. For a great part, they are larvae, insects, molluscs and worms.
Source
According to AFB

Benthic stage

Updated on 13/07/2018
Définition
Sens technique
Vertical stage of the marine benthic zone where ecological conditions, depending on the position in relation to sea level, are substantially constant or regularly vary between two critical levels delimiting the boundary of the stage. Benthic stages have characteristic populations and their boundaries are revealed by a change in these populations in the vicinity of critical levels indicating the limit conditions of the stages.
Source
According to Ifremer

Benthic zone

Updated on 04/12/2018
Définition
Sens commun
Part of the aquatic environment corresponding to the bottom of a body of water, including the sediment surface and layer if there is any.
Source
according to AFB

Benthophagous

Updated on 13/07/2018
Définition
Sens commun
Describes species feeding on organic matters on the bottom.
Source
According to Ifremer

Benthos

Updated on 13/07/2018
Définition
Sens commun
All organisms found at the bottom or on the seabed. E.g. macro-algae are attached to the bottom, they are part of the benthos (unlike unicellular algae or micro-algae that float passively and are therefore part of the phytoplankton). Molluscs, crustaceans and worms are also part of the benthos, although their eggs are planktonic. It is the same with echinoderms.
Source
According to Ifremer

Bequest value

Updated on 19/06/2018
Définition
Sens technique
Value associated with the willingness to preserve an environmental good for future generations.
Source
According to the Ministry for the Environment

Berm

Updated on 19/08/2019
Définition
Sens commun

In the context of public works: development of a slope at the foot of an hydraulic structure to protect it.

In the context of flood risk reduction: development that consists of a medium-full bed in order to increase the capacity of a watercourse and to reduce water levels during flooding.

Source
according to Syndicat Mixte Lot Dourdou

Berne Convention

Updated on 06/09/2018
Définition
Sens technique
Convention on the Conservation of European Wildlife and Natural Habitats signed in 1979 and entered into force in 1982. For the Member States of the European Union, the so-called Birds and Habitats Directives are the framework in which the provisions of the Berne Convention apply. The habitat requirements are met by the designation of protected areas, known as Natura 2000.
Source
according to the Ministry of the Environment

Biais informationnel ! Information bias

Updated on 19/06/2018
Définition
Sens technique
Bias induced during an investigation when the information on the goods to be assessed is insufficient, as the respondent does not give a correct estimate of his willingness to pay.
Source
According to the Ministry for the Environment and IOWater

Bias

Updated on 19/06/2018
Définition
Sens technique
During an investigation, an approach or process which leads to errors in the results of a study. An unrepresentative sample, poor question wording or the influence of an investigator are, for example, sources of bias.
Source
According to the Ministry for the Environment and IOWater

Bioaccumulation

Updated on 04/12/2018
Définition
Sens commun
Process by which a polluting substance found in a biotope penetrates and accumulates in all or part of a living organism and can become harmful. By extension, this word also designates the result of this process.
Source
according to CELF

Biocide

Updated on 13/07/2018
Définition
Sens technique
Any synthetic product which is toxic for some living organisms, or which aims at fighting against certain types of rot. The use of biocides is regulated (Decree No. 2004-187 of 26 February 2004 on the transposition of Directive 98/8/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 16 February 1998 concerning the placing of biocidal products on the market; Environmental Code, Art. 522-9).
Source
According to the Environmental Code

Biodegradability

Updated on 13/07/2018
Définition
Sens commun
Ability of substances to be broken down by living organisms into inorganic compounds.
Source
According to Ifremer

Biodiversity

Updated on 13/07/2018
Définition
Sens commun
Expression of the variety of life on the planet at all levels of organization. It includes micro-organisms, plant species and animal wildlife. There are also environments such as fresh waters, sea waters, forests, bogs, meadows, marshes, dunes, etc.
Source
According to Poitou-Charentes Regional Council

Biogeographical region

Updated on 25/02/2019
Définition
Sens commun

Large area that has relatively homogeneous ecological conditions (including climate) with common characteristics in terms of group of species. Under the habitats, fauna and flora directive, the European Union has eleven terrestrial biogeographic regions and the seven marine biogeographical regions. France is affected by four terrestrial regions (Atlantic, Alpine, Continental and Mediterranean) and two marine regions (Atlantic and Mediterranean marine).

Source
d’après MNHN

Bioindicator

Updated on 27/02/2019
Définition
Sens commun

A living species which, by its presence or absence, abundance or scarcity, allow to assess the degree of pollution of water or air. (e.g : lichens for the atmosphere, salmonids for rivers, etc.)

Source
d'après dictionnaire Larousse
Sens technique

Specie or group of species whose observed characteristics (occurrence, abundance, biomass, biological traits, etc.) provide an indication of the level of environmental degradation. A bioindicator is therefore subject to measures to indicate the presence or effects of pollutants and thus allows the quality of the environment in which it is collected to be assessed. It can be considered complementary (especially for the spatial distribution of pollution, the characterization of synergies, the gradual pollution, etc.) of networks of physicochemical measurements.

Source
d'après dictionnaire encyclopédique des sciences de la nature et de la biodiversité

Biological Corridor

Updated on 13/07/2018
Définition
Sens commun
All bodies, usually plants, in terrestrial or wetland environments allowing the dispersion of animals and plants between different habitats (forests, wetlands, etc.). Biological corridors play four roles: dispersion corridor for some species, habitat where the species complete their entire life cycle, shelter, home habitat even, which is a reservoir of colonizer individuals. In all cases, they are indispensable to the…
Source
According to Poitou-Charentes Regional Council

Biological cycle

Updated on 06/09/2018
Définition
Sens commun
Regularly repetitive succession of the same series of events in the existence of a living being, a breeding line or the whole of the living world.
Source
according to the Larousse dictionary

Biological filter

Updated on 25/02/2019
Définition
Sens commun

Process used for the wastewater treatment (by biofiltration) or to eliminate gaseous pollutants dissolved in the water, or to filter surface water in order to make it potable.

Source
according to Wikipedia

Biological index

Updated on 04/07/2018
Définition
Sens technique
Summarizes the numbers of a species in a population found in all samples collected in this population.
Source
According to Ifremer

Biological oxygen demand

Updated on 04/07/2018
Définition
Sens technique
Amount of oxygen required to oxidize organic matter (biodegradable) with a biological process (oxidation of biodegradable organic matter by bacteria). The biological oxygen demand (BOD) is an index of water pollution that assesses the biodegradable fraction of the carbonaceous pollution load in wastewater, and is usually calculated after 5 days at 20°C and in darkness: it is then called BOD5.
Source
According to Kristian Benoit (naturalist)

Biological sludge

Updated on 06/09/2018
Définition
Sens commun
Residual solids produced by biological wastewater treatment. Biological sludge is mainly composed of bacterial bodies and secretions.
Source
according to Wikipedia

Biomagnification

Updated on 04/12/2018
Définition
Sens commun
Process by which the concentration of a substance in a biotope increases throughout a food chain. By extension, this word also designates the result of this process.
Source
according to CELF

Biomarker

Updated on 25/02/2019
Définition
Sens commun
A measurable biological parameter, an indicator of a biological process that can reveal the exposure to or effects of a contaminant. Biomarkers are used to make environmental assessments or health diagnoses.
Source
according to IRSTEA

Biomass

Updated on 13/07/2018
Définition
Sens technique
Total mass of all living species in a given ecosystem. Biomass can also designate a subset of this mass as the total mass of living matter present at a given trophic level, or a family or a species in an ecosystem (total weight of matter of an individual, a group, an age group, a stock, a population, etc).
Source
According to AFB

Biosphere

Updated on 25/02/2019
Définition
Sens commun
All living organisms on the planet.
Source
according to BRGM and AFB

Biota

Updated on 25/02/2019
Définition
Sens technique

All living organisms (flora, fauna and fungi, and microorganisms such as bacteria, yeasts, microfungi ...) present in a habitat (natural or semi-natural) or biotope individual or a place or a particular region. Biota includes the description of the organization of species and species richness.

Source
according to Wikipedia

Biotope

Updated on 13/07/2018
Définition
Sens technique

Space characterized by climate, geographical, physical, morphological and geological factors, ... in constant or cyclic equilibrium and occupied by organisms that live in specific association (living communities). This is the non-living component (abiotic) of the ecosystem.

Source
According to the Ministry for the Environment and AFB

Biotope protection order

Updated on 05/03/2019
Définition
Sens technique

Order established by the department prefect to implement measures to conserve biotopes such as ponds, marshes, swamps, heathland, dunes, groves, hedgerows, lawns and any natural formation not exploited by humans since these biotopes are necessary for reproduction, feeding, rest, survival of protected species. The biotope protection order is particularly adapted to deal with emergency situations of destruction or significant modification of an area.

Source
d'après DREAL Centre-Val de Loire

Bioturbation

Updated on 04/12/2018
Définition
Sens commun
Restructuring of soils or aquatic sediments by living organisms present in these environments, such as earthworms and mud worms.
Source
according to CELF

Bivalve

Updated on 04/07/2018
Définition
Sens technique
A filtering lamellibranch mollusc with a calcareous shell with two lateral valves (bivalve). Bivalve molluscs are separated into two classes: burrowing bivalves that live at the sediment surface or buried in it (carpetshells, cockles, clams), and non-burrowing bivalves that live attached to a hard substrate (oysters, mussels).
Source
According to the Ministry of Agriculture and IOWater

Black tide

Updated on 13/07/2018
Définition
Sens commun
Massive pollution by hydrocarbons.
Source
According to Ifremer

Blackwater

Updated on 08/07/2019
Définition
Sens commun

Domestic wastewater from toilets, generated during the evacuation of faeces and urine and which, as a result, contains a high concentration of organic matter and micro-organisms.

Source
According to ANSES and IOWater

Blue water

Updated on 04/12/2018
Définition
Sens commun
Water coming from atmospheric precipitation that flows into rivers up to the sea, or that is collected from lakes, aquifers or reservoirs. Blue water is available for animal feed and, after treatment, for domestic human use.
Source
according to the Commission for Enrichment of the French Language

BOD capacity

Updated on 13/07/2018
Définition
Sens technique
Total amount of oxidizable matters that a wastewater treatment plant must daily treat with some effectiveness. For biological treatment plants, the BOD capacity is, in most cases, limited by the oxygenation capacity, i.e. the amount of oxygen that can be introduced into the water to maintain the concentration of oxygen at a suitable level.
Source
According to Eurostat

Body of water

Updated on 13/07/2018
Définition
Sens commun
Inland body of surface freshwater, free standing water of natural or anthropogenic origin, with variable depth. It may have features of thermal stratification. The term "body of water" covers a number of situations commonly called lakes, reservoirs, ponds, gravel pits, quarries or marshes. The definitions related to these different situations are numerous and often refer to uses.
Source
According to AFB

Bottled water

Updated on 06/09/2018
Définition
Sens commun
Kind of water including spring waters and mineral waters, having specific regulatory requirements defined by the Public Health Code.
Source
according to the Brittany Regional Health Agency (ARS)

Brackish

Updated on 19/06/2018
Définition
Sens commun
Describes water made of a mixture of fresh water and sea water. Its salinity may vary, but is generally quite low (less than 30g/litre).
Source
According to Ifremer

Brackish water

Updated on 06/09/2018
Définition
Sens commun
Water that has less salts than seawater.
Source
according to UNESCO

Braid

Updated on 04/07/2018
Définition
Sens commun
Shifting space of the low-water channel of a watercourse with several arms constantly changing.
Source
According to AFB

Braided river bed

Updated on 13/07/2018
Définition
Sens technique
Shifting space of the minor bed of a watercourse with several arms constantly changing.
Source
According to the Ministry for the Environment and AFB

Breaking of a dike

Updated on 06/09/2018
Définition
Sens commun
Partial or total destruction of a dike. The causes of failure can be technical (defects in design, construction or materials, ageing of the structure), natural (following earthquakes, exceptional floods, a storm, a marine submersion, landslides, weakening by the burrows of animals) or human (not enough preliminary studies and project control, error of use, lack of monitoring and maintenance, malicious mischief).
Source
according to the Departmental Land Directorate (DDT) of Côtes-d'Armor

Bridge

Updated on 04/12/2018
Définition
Sens commun
Structure linking two points separated by a stream, a valley or any other obstacle.
Source
according to the Robert dictionary and IOWater

Brook

Updated on 06/09/2018
Définition
Sens commun
Small, shallow stream with moderate flow.
Source
according to Wikipedia

Bryophyte

Updated on 13/07/2018
Définition
Sens commun
Aquatic moss that has the ability to accumulate metals and record pollution.
Source
According to the Ministry of Ecology

BSS code

Updated on 13/07/2018
Définition
Sens technique

National Code of Sub-Soil (BSS) assigned by the Office of Geological and Mining Research (BRGM) to underground structures including water abstractions. Established according to the principle of positioning a point on a 1:50,000 geological map, the BSS code is of the following form: 08035X0398 / F. The characteristics that are associated with it (geographic coordinates, depth and geological profile) are then used to precisely locate each intake and identify the abstracted groundwater.

Source
According to the Ministry of Ecology

Budget constraint

Updated on 19/06/2018
Définition
Sens commun
Constraint experienced by an individual or a household in terms of financial resources. The latter is limited by the income he receives, and therefore he cannot spend more.
Source
According to Hal Ronald Varian (economist)

Buffer zone

Updated on 04/07/2018
Définition
Sens commun
Strip of land between cultivated areas and a natural habitat, arranged to limit the effects of agriculture on this habitat (e.g. an area developed on the banks of a river to protect the riverine habitat and limit inputs of soil, nutrients and pesticides into the waterways).
Source
According to Poitou-Charentes Regional Council