Outcome: Geologic Structures

Identify geologic structures created by deformation.

Geologic structures such as faults and folds are the architecture of the earth’s crust. Geologic structures influence the shape of the landscape, determine the degree of landslide hazard, bring old rocks to the surface, bury young rocks, trap petroleum and natural gas, shift during earthquakes, and channel fluids that create economic deposits of metals such as gold and silver.

Folds, faults, and other geologic structures accommodate large forces such as the stress of tectonic plates jostling against each other, and smaller forces such as the stress of gravity pulling on a steep mountainside. An understanding of the structures that shape the earth’s crust can help you see when and where the crust was subjected to pushing or pulling, terrane accretion or crustal rifting.

What You’ll Learn to Do

  • Interpret and model common fold types: anticlines, synclines, basins, and domes.
  • Interpret and model common fault types.
  • Understand the process of deformation and the origin of mountains

Learning Activities

The learning activities for this section include the following:

  • Reading: Folds
  • Reading: Faults
  • Reading: Mountains
  • Self Check: Geologic Structures