If the angle of the fault plane is low (generally less than 20 degrees from the horizontal) and the displacement of the overlying block is large (often in the kilometer range) the fault is called an overthrust. Erosion can remove part of the overlying block, creating a fenster (or window) when the underlying block is only exposed in a relatively small area. When erosion removes most of the overlying block, leaving only island-like remnants resting on the lower block, the remnants are called klippen (singular klippe).
If the fault plane terminates before it reaches the earth's surface, it is referred to as a blind thrust fault. Because of the lack of surface evidence, blind thrust faults are difficult to detect until they rupture. The destructive 1994 quake in Northridge, California was caused by a previously-undiscovered blind thrust fault.
Because of their low dip, thrusts are also difficult to appreciate in mapping, where lithological offsets are generally subtle and stratigraphic repetition difficult to detect especially in peneplanated areas.
Duplexes are, essentially, packets of relatively undisturbed lithology bounded by a floor thrust and a roof thrust, which isolate the duplex packet from rock masses which are faulted around it on these thrusts. The floor thrust and the roof thrust part up-dip of the duplex and merge again down-dip, isolating a lozenge-shaped sliver of rock.
Duplexing is a very efficient mechanism of accommodating shortening of the crust by thickening the section rather than by folding and deformation.
Thrust faults occur in the foreland basin which occur marginal to orogenic belts. Here, compression does not result in appreciable mountain building, which is mostly accommodated by folding and stacking of thrusts. Instead thrust faults generally cause a thickening of the stratigraphic section.
Foreland basin thrusts also usually observe the ramp-flat geometry, with thrusts propagating within units at a very low angle "flats" (at 1-5 degrees) and then moving up-section in steeper ramps (at 5-20 degrees) where they offset stratigraphic units. Identifying ramps where they occur within units is usually problematic.
Thrusts and duplexes are also found in accretionary wedges in the ocean trench margin of subduction zones, where oceanic sediments are scraped off the subducted plate and accumulate. Here, the accretionary wedge must thicken by up to 200% and this is achieved by stacking thrust fault upon thrust fault in a melange of disrupted rock, often with chaotic folding. Here, ramp flat geometries are not usually observed because the compressional force is at a steep angle to the sedimentary layering.