From Latin chasma, from Ancient Greek χάσμα (khásma, “abyss, cleft”), from Ancient Greek χᾰ́σκω (kháskō, “to gape, yawn”) (possibly from Proto-Indo-European *ǵʰan-, *gʰan- (“to gape, yawn”) + -σκω (-skō, “inchoative suffix forming a present-tense word”), from Proto-Indo-European *-sḱéti (“suffix forming a durative or iterative imperfective verb”); or from Proto-Indo-European *ǵʰeh₁y- (“to gape, yawn”)) + Ancient Greek -μᾰ (-ma, “suffix forming a noun denoting the result of an action”) (from Proto-Indo-European *-mn̥ (“suffix forming an action or result noun”)).
- (Received Pronunciation) IPA(key): /ˈkazmə/
- (General American) IPA(key): /ˈkæzmə/
- Hyphenation: chas‧ma
- (astronomy, geology) A long, narrow, steep-sided depression on a planet (often other than Earth), a moon, or another body in the Solar System.
- 1991 June 1, Steven K. Croft, “Tethys Geology and Tectonics Revisited”, in Reports of Planetary Geology and Geophysics Program (NASA Technical Memorandum), Washington, D.C.: Scientific and Technical Information Branch, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, OCLC 25563920, archived from the original on 26 September 2016, page 98:
- The most prominent tectonic feature on Tethys is the globe-girdling Ithaca Chasma, which is 60 to 100 km wide, 3–4 km deep, and can be traced through at least 270° of a rough great circle (Smith et al, 1982; Moore & Ahern, 1983). […] Odysseys Tangent Chasma. A prominent chasma 60–80 km wide and at least 800 km long (90° arc), visible in 80.27, is tangent to the rim of Odysseus, trending about 10° east of north. The chasma intersects a ridge-bounded trough radial to Odysseus […] and is then lost in the zone around the North Pole that is shadowed in all of the extant images.
- 2003, David Leverington, “The Space Age – Terrestrial Planets”, in Babylon to Voyager and Beyond: A History of Planetary Astronomy, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, →ISBN, page 398:
- Venus shows clear signs of past tectonic activity in the highland regions. The deformational (tectonic) features showing[sic, meaning show] the results of both compressional and extensional forces. Rifting of the crust has occurred to produce relatively shallow chasmas and abundant faulting in the Aphrodite Terra and Beta Regio highlands […]
- 2007, Mary G. Chapman; John L. Smellie, “Mars Interior Layered Deposits and Terrestrial Sub-ice Volcanoes Compared: Observations and Interpretations of Similar Geomorphic Characteristics”, in Mary [G.] Chapman, editor, The Geology of Mars: Evidence from Earth-based Analogs (Cambridge Planetary Science), Cambridge; New York, N.Y.: Cambridge University Press, →ISBN, page 203:
- Assuming a subglacial or subaqueous setting for the ILDs [interior layered deposits], a simple tectonic control (and associated rupture of a confined aquifer) alone seems an unlikely trigger for ILD volcanism, or we should also observe ILDs in the linear chasmata, for which a tectonic setting is most likely and in which ILDs are absent. We suggest that the method of formation of the elliptical chasmata and the ILDs may be genetically related.
- 2014, Donald L[awson] Turcotte; Gerald Schubert, Geodynamics, 3rd edition, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, →ISBN, page 83:
- The near circular trough of the Artemis chasma [on Venus] has a diameter of 2100 km. The concentric features outside the chasma are attributed to normal faulting associated with lithospheric flexure similar to that occurring seaward of subduction zones on the Earth.
- (astronomy, obsolete, rare) An aurora.
- 1814 December, Thomas Thomson, “On the Aurora Borealis”, in Annals of Philosophy; or, Magazine of Chemistry, Mineralogy, Mechanics, Natural History, Agriculure, and the Arts, volume IV, number XXIV, London: Printed by C. Baldwin, New Bridge-street, for Robert Baldwin, Paternoster-Row; sold also by W[illiam] Blackwood, Edinburgh; and J. Cumming, Dublin, OCLC 656483107, page 427:
- 1822, Samuel Burder, “St. Luke. iii. 21”, in Oriental Literature, Applied to the Illustration of the Sacred Scriptures; Especially with Reference to Antiquities, Traditions, and Manners; Collected from the Most Celebrated Writers and Travellers, Ancient and Modern. Designed as a Sequel to Oriental Customs. [...] In Two Volumes, volume II, London: Printed for Longman, Hurst, Rees, Orme, and Brown, Paternoster-Row, OCLC 229906957, paragraph 1283, page 375:
- Livy (lib. xxii. cap. 1.) mentions a similar appearance among the prodigies which preceded Hannibal's entrance into Italy in the second Punic War. It was reported, says he, […] that at Falerii the Heaven seemed to be rent with a vast chasm; and that where it was opened, a great light shone forth. Such phenomena the Roman naturalists called chasmata, chasms, as we learn from Pliny [the Elder], Nat. Hist. lib. ii. cap. 26. and Seneca [the Younger], Nat. Quæst. lib. i. cap. 14.
- 1823, “Aurora Borealis”, in Encyclopædia Britannica: Or, A Dictionary of Arts, Sciences, and Miscellaneous Literature, volume III, 6th enl. and imp. edition, Edinburgh: Printed for Archibald Constable and Company; and Hurst, Robinson, and Company, Cheapside, London, OCLC 11927467, page 278, column 2:
- According to the state of the atmosphere, they [the aurora borealis] differ in colour. They often put on the colour of blood, and make a most dreadful appearance. The rustic sages become prophetic, and terrify the gazing spectators with the dread of war, pestilence, and famine. This superstition was not peculiar to the northern islands; nor are these appearances of recent date. The ancients called them Chasmata, and Trabes, and Bolides, according to their forms or colours.
- Obsolete form of chasm.
Third declension neuter.