Types of Rock Faults

It’s Your Fault!  We’ve all heard that phrase before but not always when we are Faulttalking about rocks.  Faults are breaks in the rocks that make up the Earth’s crust that cause earthquakes when they move.  Contrarily, joints are breaks in the rocks where no movement occurs.

There are basically three types of faults:  normal, reverse and tear. 

Normal faults occur where the rocks pull apart and the rocks on the upper side of the fault slide downward. 

Reverse faults occur where the rocks are pushed together and the rocks on the upper side of the fault slide upwards.

Tear faults (or strike-slip faults) move sideways instead of up and down, just as if the rocks were being torn apart. 

Hey Kids!  Take a look at this photo and find the two gray layers with the white layer in between.  Follow the layers from left to right.  Do you see the fault line?  Was the fault and normal, reverse or tear fault? 

Answer:  Normal Fault because the rocks on top of the fault moved downward.

2 Responses to “Types of Rock Faults”

  1. Hello!
    Very Interesting post! Thank you for such interesting resource!
    PS: Sorry for my bad english, I’v just started to learn this language 😉
    See you!
    Your, Raiul Baztepo

  2. Thank u very much i live i the Bahamas and could not find any good information on faults…really appreciated this!!!

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