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I'm looking for a term that can describe any form of effect on a ground. Say it's rained, well, the ground would have water on it. It doesn't matter if it's asphalt, dirt, grass, or sand, if it's rained, the water has an affect on the ground. Other things that would apply here are for example, dust on the ground, snow on the ground, etc.

The necessity for this term comes from game development (as so often). I have sprites for the ground, but those sprites can be covered with specific kinds of effects: Rain-Effects, Snow-Effects, Dust/Sand-Effects, etc. I need a term to group those things together.

I suspect that from a purely semantic standpoint, rain soaking into dry soil would still count, though the other two wouldn't. However in this specific example, I don't care as much about the interaction between the ground and whatever has an effect on it. Rather, just what those conditions could be called.

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  • Your examples all seem to be describing things on the ground, or covering the ground, but do you also want to include effects like rain soaking into previously dry topsoil, or wind causing erosion, or very hot summer weather melting asphalt? – nnnnnn Aug 24 '19 at 2:16
  • So the neccessity for this term comes from game development (as so often). I have sprites for the ground, but those sprites can be covered with specific kinds of effects. Rain-Effects, Snow-Effects, Dust/Sand-Effects, etc. And I need a term to group those things together. I suspect from a purely semantic standpoint rain soaking into dry soil would still count, though the other two wouldn't. However in this specific example, I don't care as much about the interaction between the ground and whatever has an effect on it, rather just what those conditions could be called. – Folling Aug 24 '19 at 2:25
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    In that context I would just say "ground covering". (I know that's not a single word, but I can't think of a single word.) They're not things that really change the ground per se, they just temporarily cover it. When the snow melts, for example, the ground will be back to the way it was before the snow. – nnnnnn Aug 24 '19 at 2:30
  • Isn't that literally everything in the universe? It's certainly everything on Earth. Seems a little vague for a special word. – Benjamin Harman Aug 26 '19 at 22:42
  • "I have sprites for the ground, but those sprites can be covered with specific kinds of effects: Rain-Effects, Snow-Effects, Dust/Sand-Effects, etc. I need a term to group those things together." Why not just use Ground-Effects? – Zack Sep 10 '19 at 14:17
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If you want to think of something that gets left behind on the ground by sprites, you can think of the term sediment, or one of its related words (like residue or accumulation).

: material deposited by water, wind, or glaciers
Merriam-Webster

I also suggest particulates, but it has a connotation of being microscopic.


I understand that the question in the title asks for things that affect the ground. But my reading the post led me to conclude the asker was less interested about that specific question, and more interested in a word that describes what gets left behind once the sprites have worked their magic. I understand my choosing to look beyond what is stated in the title is not popular, but I had specifically asked whether this was okay in meta already, and the answer was "yes".

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  • What's that got to do with ground in the first place? All these words can apply equally anywhere else. – Kris Sep 9 '19 at 11:48
  • @Kris I try to understand the asker's intent, and so I sometimes disregard specific wording. In this case, I thought the asker was looking for a different way to say pixie dust. – jxh Sep 9 '19 at 15:05
  • Residue is a great term for something which leaves residual effects. – Davo Sep 11 '19 at 19:53
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Precipitation

Is a word that refers to rain, snow, sleet or anything that falls from the sky, onto the ground

https://www.vocabulary.com/dictionary/precipitation

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    I didn't suggest precipitation because it doesn't seem to apply to sand. – jxh Sep 10 '19 at 19:05
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Earth impact

I think the compound term 'Earth impact' is suitable to the OP's context.

The following excerpt is from an article titled Earth impact hazard (britannica.com), which gives a read about the Earth impact. Even though the impacts explained by the OP are not so hazardous as those dealt with in the article, the title can partly be borrowed avoiding 'hazard'.

Earth impact hazard, the danger of collision posed by astronomical small bodies whose orbits around the Sun carry them near Earth. These objects include the rocky asteroids and their larger fragments and the icy nuclei of comets.

Space in the vicinity of Earth contains a great number of solid objects in a range of sizes. The tiniest (millimetre-size and smaller) and by far most abundant ones, called micrometeroids or interplanetary dust particles, hit Earth’s atmosphere continually. They are also the least dangerous; they either burn up in the atmosphere or settle to the surface as dust.

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