A compressive stress force produces reverse faults. Compressive stress squeezes the rocks together. This occurs at convergent plate boundaries as the plates move towards each other.
The main characteristic of a reverse fault it that a piece of rock from the plate is thrust up higher than the original level of the ground. This formation is also referred to as a scarp. In contrast, there are two other types of stress, both forming different types of faults.
Divergent plate boundaries, which is when the land plates are moving away from each other, experience tensional stress. This type of stress produces normal faults. The rocks and landforms are stretched when tensional stress occurs. Since rocks cannot stretch indefinitely, they eventually break and form a fault. Since the largest variety of faults occur in this manner, tensional stress faults are referred to as normal.
When plates slide past each other this is known as shear stress. The faults produced with this action are known as transform faults if it occurs in the ocean, and strike-slip faults if it occurs on land. The major difference between shear stress and the other two types is the movement. Compressive and tensional stress movement is vertical while shear stress is horizontal. During shear stress, the plates essentially slip over or under each other.