Difference between a strike-slip fault and a normal fault

Difference between a strike-slip fault and a normal fault

Here’s a tabular comparison between a strike-slip fault and a normal fault:

AspectStrike-Slip FaultNormal Fault
MotionHorizontal displacement along the fault planeVertical displacement along the fault plane
Plate InteractionOften associated with transform plate boundariesAssociated with divergent plate boundaries or extensional tectonic settings
Stress RegimeShearing stress, with rocks sliding past each otherTensile stress, with rocks pulling apart or extending
Fault Plane OrientationGenerally has a steeply dipping fault planeFault plane is inclined or tilted
Surface ExpressionMay exhibit lateral offsets or shear zonesForms fault scarps or stepped topography
Seismic ActivityCan generate significant earthquakesCan generate earthquakes, but typically of lesser magnitude
Geological FeaturesCommonly associated with strike-slip fault zonesOften associated with fault blocks and grabens
ExamplesSan Andreas Fault in California, USA; Alpine Fault in New ZealandEast African Rift System; Basin and Range Province in the USA

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