sur·​fi·​cial ˌsər-ˈfi-shəl How to pronounce surficial (audio)
: of or relating to a surface
surficial geologic processes

Examples of surficial in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Prior Exploration Work Historical exploration work over Saunders included limited surficial mapping, geochemical sampling (silts, soils, and rocks) and geophysics, including ZTEM. Sacramento Bee, 7 Mar. 2024 Even if astronauts can avoid radiation exposure and muscle degeneration, the moon’s surficial soil—called regolith—itself poses another tricky problem. Rebecca Boyle, Scientific American, 22 Oct. 2020 This aquifer does receive recharge and is not yet overtaxed, but involves more concerns than pumping out of a surficial gravel aquifers near Staples or Benson. Edward Lotterman, Twin Cities, 9 Nov. 2019

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'surficial.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


surface + -icial (as in superficial)

First Known Use

1892, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of surficial was in 1892

Dictionary Entries Near surficial

Cite this Entry

“Surficial.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 Jun. 2024.

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