Earthquakes take place every day almost everywhere the world, follow me both tectonic bowl edges and also interiors. Earthquakes occur along faults, which room fractures in between blocks of rock that allow the block to move relative come one another. Faults are caused by the bumping and also sliding the plates do and are an ext common near the edge of the plates.

Plates, Motion, Faults, power Release

The Earth"s crust (the outer layer of the planet) is consisted of of several pieces dubbed tectonic plates and most earthquakes happen along your edges. The plates under the seas are dubbed oceanic plates. Plates that are not under the ocean are continental plates. The plates space moved around by the movement of a deeper part of the earth (the mantle) the lies under the crust, and by the weight of oceanic plates the pulls castle down below oceanic plates. This plates are constantly moving apart, bumping, or sliding previous each various other at about the same speed the your fingernails grow. Earthquakes usually take place where two plates are running right into each other or sliding past each other.




You are watching: A ________ fault is created when the hanging wall moves up relative to the footwall.

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An picture of the world"s significant plates and their boundaries. Notice that plenty of plate borders do not coincide through coastlines. Supplied with permission from USGS.
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Map of earthquakes the have occurred today (red), yesterday (orange), up to 2 weeks earlier (yellow), and also up to five years earlier (pink). The pink dots outline significant plate borders as well.

Earthquakes Can take place Along Intraplate Faults

Earthquakes can happen along faults far from the edges of plates. Although this earthquakes are much much less common, lock are because of the same forces that reason earthquakes along plate boundaries.

Types the Faults

Faults are characterized by the type of activity that happens wherein they are. Normal faults show cracks where one block of absent is sliding down and away from one more block of rock. These faults usually occur in areas where the crust is really slowly stretching or where two plates room pulling far from each other. A typical fault is defined by the hanging wall (a hatchet that comes from mining) moving down family member to the footwall (where the miner would stand), i m sorry is moving up.


The "footwall" is on the "upthrown" next of the fault, moving upwards. The "hanging wall" is top top the "downthrown" side of the fault, moving downwards.


reverse Faults

Reverse faults are created where the earth’s crust is under compression. They additionally occur where the crust is urgently up because it"s being compressed by one more plate pushing versus it. At these faults, one block of absent is slide underneath an additional block or one block is being thrust up end the other. A turning back fault is defined by the hanging wall surface moving up loved one to the footwall, i m sorry is relocating down.


This time, the "footwall" is ~ above the "downthrown" next of the fault, relocating downwards, and the "hanging wall" is on the "upthrown" side of the fault, moving upwards. Once the hanging wall is top top the upthrown side, the "hangs" end the footwall.


Strike-slip Faults

Strike-slip faults lie between two political parties of the crust that slide previous each other and are common in places like California whereby the Pacific key is relocating northwest relative to the north American Plate. In a pure strike-slip fault, over there is no motion up or down along the fault. The famous San Andreas fault is primarily strike-slip.




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The activity shows a left-lateral strike-slip fault. No matter which next of the fault you room on, the other side is moving to the left. Because that a best lateral strike-slip fault (not shown), no issue which next of the fault you room on, the other side is relocating to the right.


Fun Fact: The Keweenaw Peninsula—home come Michigan Tech and UPSeis, is additionally known because that the substantial slip fault that marks our landscape. The Keweenaw error is the result of activity much more than one exchange rate years ago and presents no current danger. In various other words, don’t are afraid the fault!