How Do You Describe Fault Geography?


Quick Answer

Fault geography is described by the types of faults that exist in Earth's crust. A fault is a physical disruption, or crack, in Earth's crust caused by built-up tension between tectonic plates. There are three main types of faults: normal dip-slip fault, reverse dip-slip fault and strike-slip (cascading) fault.

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Full Answer

Faults can be active or inactive. Active faults move over time, resulting in larger cracks in the Earth, mountainous formations or earthquakes. Inactive faults no longer move. Faults can generally be the size of a few centimeters to hundreds of kilometers in length.

Normal dip-slip faults occur when the rocks are pulling apart, spreading the rocky crust of an area. One side of the rocky crust is forced down (slip) relative to the other side, but does not overhang on the other side. Many mountain ranges in the world are caused by these types of faults.

Reverse dip-slip fault occur when the rocks are pushed together, in which one side rises above another as they collide. In a reverse fault, the collision of the two rocky crusts often result in an overhang, making this type of fault difficult to walk over without noticing.

Strike-slip faults are similar to a reverse dip-slip in that these faults are caused by a horizontal compression (collision), but the energy between these two cause the crust to move lateral to the collision instead of the rising or lowering of one side. This type of fault-movement is what is responsible for earthquakes.

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