Acid: a substance that yields hydrogen ions in water and accelerates the corrosion of metals. When dissolved in water, acids results in a pH of less than 7.
Aircraft: device that is able to fly (plane, helicopter, balloon).
Anemia: decreased concentration of hemoglobin and generally of the number of red blood cells.
Anion: ion carrying one or more negative electric charges.
Aqueous solution: liquid containing several chemical substances and in which water is the major component.
Arrhythmia: disturbance to the heartbeat affecting the frequency, regularity and force of heart contractions.
Atom: fundamental constituent of matter, composed of a nucleus which accounts for 99.9 % of its weight, around which one or more electrons form a cloud.
Ballast: on ships, ballast tanks can be filled with seawater, to regulate the vessel’s stability.
Bar: unit of measure for pressure. One bar is equivalent to atmospheric pressure at sea level.
Barge: flat-bottomed boat. Base: substance which, contrary to acid, is capable of capturing one or more hydrogen ions. When dissolved in water, acids lead to a pH greater than 7.
Bioaccumulation: the accumulation of a substance in living organisms up to concentrations far higher than those in the environment.
Biodegradable: qualifies a substance that can be broken down by living organisms.
Biofuel: alternative fuel produced from organic, nonfossil, renewable matter (alcohol, beetroot...).
Cation: ion carrying one or more positive electric charges.
Charterer: company that, on its own behalf or that of its customers, hires a ship to transport its goods or those of its customers.
Clinker: solid residue that remains after waste incineration.
Container: metal box with internationally standardized dimensions (20 or 40 feet), used to transport goods by different modes of transport (road, rail, air, river and sea).
Corrosive: capacity of a product to damage living tissues and attack materials such as metals.
Critical temperature: temperature above which a substance cannot exist in liquid phase, whatever the pressure
Dredger: machine used to remove mud and solids from the seafloor.
Drift: trajectory taken at sea or in a river by a floating slick, according to the currents and/or weather conditions.
Drone: remote-controlled unmanned device.
Drum: cylindrical container.
Dyspnea: breathing difficulties.
Edema: swelling of an organ or tissue caused by the infiltration of water or lymph.
Effluent: wastewater or liquid waste discharged into the water during clean-up operations in pollution response.
Electron: part of an atom carrying an negative elementary electric charge.
Energy recovery: recovery of the energy released by different processes such as incineration.
Excavation: act of digging up land.
Flushing: clean-up technique used to dislodge residual clusters of trapped pollutant or to wash and rinse rocks and pebbles.
Gastropod: large class of animals that are a subgroup of molluscs (e.g. snails, slugs, limpets, whelks).
GPS: Global Positioning System.
Grounding: accidental event in which a ship becomes immobilized on a shoal, beach…
Groundwater: underground water contained in soil pore spaces and the fractures of rock formations, which is renewed by the infiltration of surface waters.
Hold: place below the deck of a ship where solid goods are stored (in bulk or in containers).
Hydration: combination of a substance with one or several water molecules.
Hydrographic network: all the aquatic environments (lakes, rivers, groundwater, marshes etc.) present within a given area of land.
Hydrolysis: chemical decomposition by reaction with water.
Hydrophilic: a hydrophilic substance has an affinity for water and tends to dissolve in water.
Ifremer: French Research Institute for Exploration of the Sea.
Immunodepression: weakening of an organism’s immune defenses.
Inland waters: all surface or ground waters present within emerged land (rivers, lakes...).
Ion: atom or group of atoms having won or lost one or more electrons.
Leachate: residual liquid once water has passed through matter (polluted or not).
Lighter: lightering a vessel involves emptying it of all or part of its cargo to make it lighter, in order, for example, to refloat it.
Liquefaction: physical process of turning a gas into a liquid.
Magnetometer: instrument used to measure the magnitude and direction of a magnetic field.
Molecule: set of atoms held together by chemical bonds.
Monomer: molecule that can combine with other monomers to form the basic structural unit of polymers.
Mucous membrane: a layer of cells lining the inner wall of cavities such as the digestive tract, bronchial tubes, mouth...
Mud: residual sediment following waste or wastewater treatment.
Nucleus: central part of an atom, positively charged and composed of protons and neutrons.
Oxidation: loss of one or more electrons by a molecule.
Petrochemistry: industry which uses compounds obtained from crude oil as primary products.
pH: measure of the acidity of an environment. Ranges from 0 (very acidic) to 14 (very alkali).
Phase: homogeneous part of a system. For instance, water (liquid phase) and ice (solid phase) are two phases of the same pure substance.
Pictogram: universally understood illustration representing a particular notion.
Plug: device used to seal off an opening or pipe.
Polymer: large molecule composed of a chain of monomers held together by strong bonds.
PPE: Personal Protective Equipment, used in marine pollution response, consisting of protective clothing, often combined with respiratory protection.
Proton: positively charged constituent of an atom’s nucleus.
Putrescible: that is liable to decay.
Reaction: transformation of matter whereby the constituent chemical species (atoms, ions or molecules) are rearranged to form new substances.
Refining: operation or series of operations whereby a mixture of substances is processed, to obtain one or more pure substances or even one or more mixtures with specific properties.
Remote sensing: set of techniques used to detect pollution remotely (e.g. satellite).
Riprap: manmade pile of rocks intended to protect a coastal area from wave action.
ROV: Remotely Operated Vehicle.
Sand screener: machine used to sieve the top layer of sand, 5 to 20 cm deep, in order to remove pollutants or waste.
Scuttle: to deliberately sink a vessel.
Sessile: qualifies a living organism attached to a base (e.g. mussel).
Skimmer: device used to recover liquids floating at the water surface.
Sluice gate: a type of gate designed to regulate the inflow or outflow of water. Generally a vertical slide gate.
Solvent: substance able to dissolve and dilute other substances without chemically altering them or being altered itself.
Sonar: underwater detection and communication equipment like radar, based on the reflection of acoustic waves.
Stowage: arrangement of goods in a ship’s hold.
Tainting: alteration to the taste and/or odour of seafood.
Terminal: part of a sea port where goods are loaded onto and unloaded from ships.
Transhipment: process of transferring the load of a ship onto another ship.
Trawl net: funnel-shaped fishing net towed along the seafloor or midwater by a single vessel or pair of vessels.
Water column: volume of water between the surface and the bottom in a real or imaginary vertical tube.