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[dahy-uh-peer] /ˈdaɪ əˌpɪər/
noun, Geology
a dome, or anticline, the upper regions of which have been ruptured and penetrated by material squeezed up from below.
Compare plume (def 10), salt dome.
1915-20; < French, said to be < Greek diapeírein to drive through, pierce; dia- dia- + peírein to pierce
Related forms
[dahy-uh-pir-ik] /ˌdaɪ əˈpɪr ɪk/ (Show IPA),
adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for diapir
  • The salt core breaks through the overlying rocks, and possibly the surface, creating a salt diapir.
British Dictionary definitions for diapir


(geology) an anticlinal fold in which the brittle overlying rock has been pierced by material, such as salt, from beneath
Word Origin
C20: from Greek diapeirainein to make holes through, pierce
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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diapir in Science
A fold or dome, such as an anticline, in which the upper strata of sediment or rock have been ruptured by the upward movement of more plastic rock, such as a body of salt, gypsum, or lava.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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Encyclopedia Article for diapir

(from Greek diapeirein, "to pierce"), geological structure consisting of mobile material that was forced into more brittle surrounding rocks, usually by the upward flow of material from a parent stratum. The flow may be produced by gravitational forces (heavy rocks causing underlying lighter rocks to rise), tectonic forces (mobile rocks being squeezed through less mobile rocks by lateral stress), or a combination of both. Diapirs may take the shape of domes, waves, mushrooms, teardrops, or dikes. Because salt flows quite readily, diapirs are often associated with salt domes or salt anticlines; in some cases the diapiric process is thought to be the mode of origin for a salt dome itself.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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