Grabens

Grabens are tectonic features that form under extension stresses. Structurally, they are composed of two normal faults, with a down-dropped block between them. Most grabens are found within the lunar maria near the edges of large impact basins.In geology, a graben is a depressed block of land bordered by parallel faults. Graben is German for ditch or trench. The plural form is variously given as graben[1] or grabens.[2][3] A graben is the result of a block of land being downthrown producing a valley with a distinct scarp on each side. Graben often occur side-by-side with horsts. Horst and graben structures are indicative of tensional forces and crustal stretching. Graben are produced from parallel normal faults, where the hanging wall is downthrown and the footwall is upthrown. The faults typically dip toward the center of the graben from both sides. Horsts are parallel blocks that remain between graben; the bounding faults of a horst typically dip away from the center line of the horst. Single or multiple graben can produce a rift valley. One of the world's deepest graben with over 1000 metres of downthrow is the Mount Unzen volcanic complex in southern Japan. In many rifts the graben are asymmetric, with a major fault along only one of the boundaries, and these are known as half-graben. The polarity (throw direction) of the main bounding faults typically alternate along the length of the rift. The asymmetry of a half-graben strongly affects syntectonic deposition. Comparatively little sediment enters the half-graben across the main bounding fault, due to the effects of footwall uplift on the drainage systems. The exception is at any major offset in the bounding fault, where a relay ramp may provide an important sediment input point. Most of the sediment will enter the half-graben down the unfaulted hanging wall side (e.g. Lake Baikal).Tectonics (from the Vulgar L

tin tectonicus, meaning "building") is concerned with the orogenies and tectonic development of cratons and tectonic terranes as well as the earthquake and volcanic belts which directly affect much of the global population. Tectonic studies are also important for understanding erosion patterns in geomorphology and as guides for the economic geologist searching for petroleum and metallic ores.Dip-slip faults can occur either as "reverse" or as "normal" faults. A normal fault occurs when the crust is extended. Alternatively such a fault can be called an extensional fault. The hanging wall moves downward, relative to the footwall. A downthrown block between two normal faults dipping towards each other is called a graben. An upthrown block between two normal faults dipping away from each other is called a horst. Low-angle normal faults with regional tectonic significance may be designated detachment faults. A reverse fault is the opposite of a normal faultthe hanging wall moves up relative to the footwall. Reverse faults indicate shortening of the crust. The dip of a reverse fault is relatively steep, greater than 45. Cross-sectional illustration of normal and reverse dip-slip faults A thrust fault has the same sense of motion as a reverse fault, but with the dip of the fault plane at less than 45. Thrust faults typically form ramps, flats and fault-bend (hanging wall and foot wall) folds. Thrust faults form nappes and klippen in the large thrust belts. Subduction zones are a special class of thrusts that form the largest faults on Earth and give rise to the largest earthquakes. The fault plane is the plane that represents the fracture surface of a fault. Flat segments of thrust fault planes are known as flats, and inclined sections of the thrust are known as ramps. Typically, thrust faults move within formations by forming flats, and climb up section with ramps.