Faults in the Earth's Crust

Science, Grade 6


Table Of Contents: Faults in the Earth's Crust

1. What is a Fault?
A fault is a break in the Earth's surface that is created when crustal rock breaks and the rock surfaces move past each other. Most faults occur along tectonic plate boundaries.
2. Hanging Wall and Footwall
When a fault forms, the block of rock that is above the fault line is called the hanging wall and the block below is called the footwall.
3. Normal Fault
A normal fault is formed when tension causes the blocks of earth to pull apart and the hanging wall moves down relative to the footwall.
4. Reverse Fault
A reverse fault is formed when compression pushes the blocks of earth against each other and the hanging wall moves up relative to the footwall.
5. Strike-Slip Fault
A strike-slip fault is formed when blocks of rock slide past each other and experience shearing stress. This type of fault is usually found at tectonic plate transform boundaries.