fold

fold

[fohld]
fold, in geology, bent or deformed arrangement of stratified rocks. These rocks may be of sedimentary or volcanic origin. Although stratified rocks are normally deposited on the earth's surface in horizontal layers (see stratification), they are often found inclined or curved upward or downward. Arches, or upfolds, in stratified rock are called anticlines; depressions or downfolds, synclines. A third type of fold, the monocline, is a steplike structure sloping in one direction only. It is more correctly called a flexure and generally passes at depth into a fracture called a fault. An imaginary line drawn along the crest of an anticline or the trough of a syncline is its axis; the two sides curving away from the axis are the limbs. If both limbs, dipping in opposite directions, make the same angle with the horizontal, and if an imaginary axial plane passed through the axis and the center of the fold is vertical and divides the fold into two equal halves, the fold is symmetrical; if the limbs make unequal angles, and if the axial plane is inclined and does not bisect the fold, the fold is asymmetric. If one limb lies partly under the other, and the axial plane is inclined, the fold is overturned; if one limb lies almost completely under the other, and the axial plane is almost horizontal, the fold is recumbent. The axis of a fold cannot be indefinitely extended parallel to the horizontal, but plunges or emerges as the fold tapers off to a plane. Certain domes are very short anticlines with axes plunging at both ends, while some basins, similarly, are synclinal structures. Folds are commonly formed at some distance below the surface, but complete folds or portions of folds are exposed by erosion. Anticlines frequently have their crests eroded, till only the worn-down stumps of the two limbs remain. In a similar manner synclines may be eroded so that only the edges of the limbs project above the surface. The ridge crests of the Appalachian Mts. are eroded limbs of folds. The nature of the original fold can generally be determined from the arrangement of the outcrops, or exposed portions; thus, two outcrops dipping toward each other mark a syncline, and two outcrops dipping away from each other, an anticline. Folds on a grand scale, extending, for example, most of the length of a continent, are known as geosynclines and geanticlines. The immediate cause of folding is generally conceded to be the horizontal compression of the earth's surface, anticlines being squeezed up by this compression and synclines formed between anticlines. The problem of the ultimate cause of fold formation is similar to that of fault formation, both being earth movements involved in mountain building and plate tectonics. Porous and permeable rocks of anticlines often contain oil and gas reservoirs. Organic remains of late Paleozoic tree fern swamps were converted to anthracite coal during the folding of the Appalachian Mts.

Either of two folds of mucous membrane that extend across the interior cavity of the larynx and are primarily responsible for voice production. Sound is produced by the vibration of the folds in response to the passage between them of air exhaled from the lungs. The pitch of sound varies with the degree of vocal-cord tension. Sounds are then modified by the tongue, palate, and lips to produce speech. When at rest, the vocal cords lie apart, forming a V-shaped opening (glottis) through which air is breathed. The folds located just above the vocal cords are termed the vestibular or false vocal cords because they are not involved in voice production. Inflammation (as from excessive use) limits the normal contraction of the vocal cords, resulting in hoarseness.

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In geology, an undulation or wave in the stratified rocks of the Earth's crust. Stratified rocks were originally formed from sediments that were deposited in flat, horizontal sheets, although in some places the strata are no longer horizontal but have warped. The warping may be so gentle that the inclination of the strata is barely perceptible, or it may be so pronounced that the strata of the two flanks are essentially parallel or nearly flat. Folds vary widely in size; the tops of large folds are commonly eroded away on the Earth's surface.

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The Miura-fold is a rigid fold that has been used to simulate large solar panel arrays for space satellites in the Japanese 1995 Space Flight Unit. It was invented by Japanese astrophysicist Koryo Miura. It is an example of the practical importance of rigid origami, or treating hinges and rigid surfaces like the paper and creases in paper folding problems.

A folded Miura-fold can be packed into an area no larger than the size of one of the segments that make up the overall shape, its thickness restricted only by the thickness of the folded material.

The fold can also be unpacked in just one motion by pulling on opposite ends of the folded material, and likewise folded again by pushing the two ends back together. This was beneficial to the aforementioned solar array as it reduced the number of motors required to unfold it, reducing the overall weight and complexity of the mechanism.

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