Chapter 17
               Tectonics: Folds and Faults

             Physical Geology Illustrated Vocabulary        
Cochise College                                                     
Geology Home Page  
Roger Weller, geology instructor  

folded sedimentary rocks, Santa Catalina Mountains, Pima County, Arizona   

Chapter 17
copyright 2015-Roger Weller
last edited: 12/7/15


angular unconformity
-consists of a set of sedimentary layers deposited on an erosion
surface which is underlain by inclined sedimentary beds that are
truncated by the erosion surface and then capped with sedimentary
layers parallel to the erosion surface.
-Angular unconformity near Benson, Arizona 


-is a hill-shaped fold.

-Anticline near Tombstone, Arizona     
-anticline and syncline near Hayden, Arizona  
-anticline-Opal's Pals     



-is a tectonic structure in which layers of sedimentary rock formed
into a circular depression. 
A basin is the opposite of a dome.
-Maps of the Michigan Basin 


basin and range faulting

-consists of a series of fault block mountains (horsts) separated
by basins formed by down-dropped blocks (grabens).


Basin and Range province

-refers to the southwest portion of the United States that is dominated by basin and
range faulting.


basin and range topography

-describes the resulting land surface of mountains separated by valleys that is produced
by basin and range faulting.



-refers to a material has a tendency to break or crush.  A brittle material is not tough.



-is a squeezing force that tends to flatten an object.



-describes the angle by which an inclined plane, such as a sedimentary bed or a fault
surface, is tilted from the horizontal.


dip-slip fault

-is a type of fault in which the relative movement of the two fault blocks is in the dip direction.


drag fold

-is a fold that is created when one sedimentary rock layer is dragged across another during
folding or faulting.

-drag fold in the Santa Catalina Mountains 



-is used to describe materials, which after being distorted, tend to snap back to their original,
pre-stressed condition.


-is a break in the planet's crust along which there has been movement.

-turbidites cut by fault            


fault block

-is the large mass of rock located on one side of a fault.  Sometimes this term refers to a single
very large mass of
rock surrounded on all sides by faults.


fault gouge

-consists of crushed and ground up rock along a fault zone.


fault zone

-is more complex than a single fault.  A fault zone consists of a series of faults, all trending in
the same direction and
tectonically related to each other.



-describes bent layers of rock.
-fold in the Huachuca Mountains

-folds in the Santa Catalina Mountains-1             

-folds in the Santa Catalina Mountains-2             

-folds in the Santa Catalina Mountains-4   
-Anticline and Syncline folds south of Tombstone    
-folds-Opal's Pals        


footwall fault block

-is the fault block underlying a dipping fault surface.


geologic map

-is a map that shows stratigraphic formations, folds, and faults.

-geologic map of the Whetstone Mountains, Southeastern Arizona     


headwall fault block

-is the fault block resting on top of an inclined fault surface.


-are flat breaks along which there has been little or no movement.

-plants growing in joints in granite  *           

-joints in granite-1            

-joints in granite-2 


normal fault

-is a dip-slip fault where the headwall (upper) fault block slides down dip.

-normal fault cutting turbite beds    
-normal fault-Opal's Pals         


open folds

-are loose, uncompressed folds.
-open folds-Opal's Pals


plastic flow

-occurs when, under pressure, a material flows instead of breaking.


plunging folds

-are a series of folds whose fold axes are inclined to the horizontal.
-plunging folds-Opal's Pals


San Andreas Fault

Is a prominent strike-slip fault extending from near Yuma, Arizona, running northeast of Los
Angeles up through San Francisco.  The San Andreas Fault separates the Pacific plate on the west
from the North American plate to the east.

-map of the Los Angeles area             



-is a small cliff formed through mass wastage as a slump or landslide or through surface faulting
associated with an earthquake.

-landslide scarp in Colorado            



-is the type of stress where one block slides past another block.  Materials caught between the two
blocks are said to be undergoing shear.



-consist of parallel scratches on the rocks on both sides of a fault surface. 
Slickensides are formed when the fault blocks rub
against each other during fault movement.

-slickensides with epidote 
-slickenside photos  
-slickensides-Opal's Pals         



-represents the consequences of stress: folds, faults, joints, etc.



-refers to the forces acting upon rocks: compression, tension, or shear



-In order to describe the orientation of a dipping surface, such as a fault or sedimentary layer, this
term is applied to the compass direction of the line created by the dipping plane intersecting a
horizontal surface


strike-slip fault

-occurs when two fault blocks move horizontally past each other in opposite directions along the
direction of the strike line.
-strike slip fault-Opal's Pals



-is a valley fold where the dips of the two limbs of the fold point towards each other.
-syncline-Sideling Hill, Maryland

-syncline near Tombstone, Arizona    
-syncline and anticline near Hayden, Arizona
-syncline-Opal's Pals         



-refers to the folds, faults, and earthquakes within a region that indicate the area is under stress or
has been under stress.



-is a force where objects are being pulled apart.


thrust fault

-is a low angle reverse fault where the headwall block moves up dip.  This type of faulting is
caused by horizontal compression.
-thrust Fault-Opal's Pals


tight folds

-consist of a series of folds so tightly compressed that the limbs of the folds are nearly parallel to
one another.

-tight fold  

-tight folds-Opal's Pals


topographic map

-is a map that indicates elevation of landforms with contour lines.

-raised topographic map of the Mule Mountains