Technical Glossary - K

Karst: A geologic formation of irregular limestone deposits with sinks, underground streams, and caverns.

kBtu: One-thousand (1,000) Btus.

Certain colorless, low-sulfur oil products that burn without producing much smoke.

Kilovolt (kV): One-thousand volts (1,000). Distribution lines in residential areas usually are 12 kV (12,000 Volts).

Kilowatt (kW): One thousand (1,000) watts. A unit of measure of the amount of electricity needed to operate given equipment. On a hot summer afternoon a typical home, with central air conditioning and other equipment in use, might have a demand of four kW each hour.

Kilowatt- Hour (kWh):
The most commonly-used unit of measure telling the amount of electricity consumed over time. It means one kilowatt of electricity supplied for one hour. In 1989, a typical California household consumes 534 kWh in an average month.

Kinetic Energy:
Energy possessed by a moving object or water body.

Kinetic Rate Coefficient:
A number that describes the rate at which a water constituent such as a biochemical oxygen demand or dissolved oxygen rises or falls, or at which an air pollutant reacts.

Kyoto Accord:
Agreed in Japan 1997 targets 'carbon-rich' gasses and commits 38 industrialized countries to emissions cut of 5.2% by 2010.