What is "fault inversion?"

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belarafon | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

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A Fault Inversion is the reactivation of a previously stable fault in the opposite direction to its original movement. Briefly, when a large amount of solid rock develops a split across its general grain (or fractures due to heat, cold, or erosion) the resulting break is called a fault. Earth stresses such as tidal forces, earthquakes, and crustal  or plate shift can cause the split rock to move towards, away, or along the fault, causing damage to the rock structure above and below. A fault inversion occurs when a fault, after coming to rest, begins to move in the opposite direction, often causing sinkholes or upthrust rock. Mesas in the American Midwest are examples of rock being pushed upwards by fault movement.


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