A supernatant liquid occurs in the chemical process of precipitation, and it is typically a clear liquid free of precipitate located above the solid during settling. A supernatant is considered a deposit, and the term itself is from the Latin word "supernatant," meaning to float from.
Precipitation in chemistry refers to the creation of a solid within a solution or within another solid during the process of diffusion. During this process, the solid formed is known as the precipitate. What causes the solid to form is known as the precipitant, and the supernate or supernatant is the area above the precipitate. A powder can also be derived from this process, and it is known as a flower.