What Is an Example of a Reverse Fault?

Parts of the Rocky and Himalaya Mountains were formed by reverse faults. The Sierra Madre fault zone in Southern California is another example of a reverse fault. In fact, movement of this fault is said to have created the San Gabriel Mountains.

A reverse fault occurs when one rock wall begins sliding upwards against another rock wall. The wall that's moving upward is known as the hanging wall, and the stationary one is known as the footwall. Reverse faults are classified as a type of dip-slip fault, because the two pieces of rock coming together are moving vertically in regards to each other, rather than horizontally sliding past one another.

Reverse faults occur as a result of force being applied to two rocky blocks in such a way as to push them towards one another. This type of fault often creates mountains as the hanging wall moves up. Reverse faults are called such because they result in upwards movement, which is the reverse of what gravity causes. They are also known as thrust faults or compression faults.

Normal faults are considered to be the opposite of reverse faults. In a normal fault, a rock wall begins moving down when it is pushed up against another rock wall.