Overview of Fault Types
Faults are fractures of the Earth's crust on which there is appreciable movement. Rupture and
displacement along faults produce earthquakes. The displacement along faults may shorten
and thicken the crust (thrust faults), thin and extend the crust (normal faults), or allow opposing
fault blocks to slide past one another (strike-slip on continents, transform within the ocean).
Prevalent along convergent boundaries, thrust faults accommodate contraction and produce mountains. Buried thrust faults can cause surface uplift and folding.
Normal faults are most prevalent along divergent boundaries and are associated with crustal extension at rifts and passive margins.
Dominant along transform plate boundaries, strike-slip faults allow for sliding and displacement of adjacent landscapes.