stratio-, strati-, strato-, strat-, -stratus; ster-, stern-

(Latin: horizontal layer; stretched, spread out; layer, cloud layer; strew, scatter, disperse)

The Latin stratum meant "something laid down". It was used as a noun for the past participle of sternere, "to spread out, to lay down, to stretch out" which produced consternation and prostrate plus many other words from the same etymological sources which are listed in this unit.

stratigraphical section (s) (noun), stratigraphical sections (pl)
A local geological column, or any sequence of rock units or formations, that are found at or under the surface in a particular region: Linda found an article about a stratigraphical section that was discovered in her area which depicted certain rock layers and explained the process of the layering itself.
1. The study of the origin, composition, and development of rock strata.
2. A section cut vertically through the earth showing its different layers and allowing artefacts to be dated according to the layers in which they are found.
3. The way in which rock strata are arranged, and the chronology of their formation.
4. In geology, a branch of geology that is concerned with the systemized study, description, and classification of stratified rocks, including their origins, composition, characteristics, distribution, and correlation with one another.

Commonly these layers are levels of sedimentary rock, but stratigraphy can also include the study of non-ossified sediments; such as, those in stream beds and lake bottoms, of inclusions in volcanic ash and lava, and even the study of different layers of human occupation.

The processes of sedimentation, including the presence of certain types of fossils, provide scientists with valuable clues about the age of the earth and its history.

These principles are valuable for many different types of scientists, ranging from prospecting geologists to city planner to archaeologists and paleontologists studying human and animal history and prehistory.

—From The Gale Encyclopedia of Science, 3rd ed.;
The Gale Group, Inc.; 2004; page 3859.
In geology, the part of the earth's crust that contains stratified rocks.
A cloud resembling cirro-stratus, but more compact in structure.
stratocumulus (s) (noun), stratocumuli (pl)
1. In meteorology, a principal cloud classification, characterized by gray or white, usually stratiform layers that nearly always have dark patches: Stratocumuli are usually arranged in orderly groups, lines, or waves, and composed of small water droplets, sometimes accompanied by larger droplets, soft hail, and (rarely) snowflakes.
2. A cloud formation in a low-lying extensive layer with large dark round or rolling masses.
The boundary layer between the stratosphere and the mesosphere, at around 30 miles/50 km above the Earth's surface
A telescope that operates by remote control and is lifted by balloon to high altitudes so as to reduce the effect of atmospheric turbulence on the observations.
stratosphere (s) (noun), stratospheres (pl)
1. The upper region of the earth's atmosphere between the troposphere and mesosphere, from 6 miles or 10 kilometers to 30 miles or 50 kilometers above the earth's surface: Modern passenger aircraft are designed to fly in the stratosphere where there are no clouds.

The stratosphere has no clouds and consists of gradual temperature increases.

2. In former use, it referred to all of the atmosphere above the troposphere.
3. A very high or the highest level or position.
4. The nearly uniform cold ocean water masses in high latitudes and near-bottom waters of middle and low latitudes; ocean water below the thermocline.
stratospheric, stratospherically
1. A reference to the region of the earth's atmosphere between the troposphere and mesosphere, from 10 kilometers (6 miles) to 50 kilometers (30 miles) above the earth's surface.

It has no clouds and is marked by gradual increases in temperature.

2. A descriptive term for very high or the highest level or position of something, or the greatest amount: "The excessively cold weather this spring probably will cause a decrease in agricultural products and so result in stratospheric food prices."
3. Referring to extremely high or the highest point or degree on a ranked scale: "Because of the increase in oil prices, gas prices have shot up stratospherically this week."
In geology, the sequence of strata that was originally described for a given location, and that serves as a standard against which other parts of the stratigraphic unit are compared.
A reference to clouds.
1. A volcano consisting of layers of lava alternating with ash or cinder.
2. A volcano that is composed of alternating layers of lava and pyroclastic material, along with abundant dikes and sills. Viscous, intermediate lava may flow from a central vent. Example: Mt. Fuji in Japan.
stratum (s) (noun), strata (pl)
1. Any of several parallel levels of something: Along the east coast of Greenland, the strata of the cliffs by the ocean were very interesting for the group of tourists to see.
2. A layer of the atmosphere or the sea: One stratum or level of the air or sky is the troposphere, which occurs in tiers or heights.
3. In biology, a fold of living cells; or a sheetlike mass of substance of nearly uniform thickness; especially, when it is one of several associated levels, as in tissue: In Robert’s biology class at school, he learned that one of several layers of skin tissue in a body is known as the epithelial strata.
4. A horizontal layer of vegetation within a stratified plant area: In the Alps above the tree line, there is only a selected stratum of plant life that can survive such extreme climate changes.
5. A social rank or level of society consisting of people of similar cultural, economic, or educational status: There are many different political viewpoints within one stratum, or social class, of individuals in the town where Joan’s sister lives.
6. A layer or level within an ordered system: In the poem that Jane was reading for school, she had to find out the different strata of meanings and thoughts it conveyed to the reader.
A layer or one of several layer one over the other.
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stratus (s) (noun), strati (pl)
A low-lying flat gray cloud formation that covers the sky: A stratus spreads out across the horizon.

In meteorology, a principal cloud development that is characterized by a gray layer having a relatively uniform depth and low altitude: The stratus often occurs in the form of uneven patches or fragments and is usually composed of fairly widely dispersed water droplets.

A continuous horizontal layer of clouds.
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stratus fractus (s) (noun), stratus fracti (pl)
Clouds that are scattered and consist of ragged patches or fragments.