USGS EarthWord of the Week
EarthWords is an on-going series in which we shed some light on the complicated, often difficult-to-pronounce language of science. Think of us as your terminology tour-guides, and meet us back here every week for a new word!
The EarthWord: Strike-Slip Fault
It isn’t a new dance-move, but if it were, it’d be called the tectonic slide, because a strike-slip fault is where the two rock formations move mostly horizontally.
Use/Significance in the Earth Science Community:
Faults behave in different ways: some slip down, other thrust up, some slide side-to-side, and each of these produce different magnitudes of earthquakes. Understanding how various faults behave helps us understand what kinds of seismic hazard exist.
USGS studies strike-slip faults as part of our Earthquake Hazards Program, particularly the San Andreas Fault in California.
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