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Glossary -- Landform: Thrust Fault

Thrust Fault. Thrust faults are a type of fault where stratigraphic layers are fractured by a low-angle fault, and then tectonic forces compress the land surface, forcing layers up onto other layers. This places older strata above younger strata, which is in contrast to the normal situation where layers build up over time, so older layers are always below younger layers.

Around Las Vegas, the gray limestone cliffs seen above the red-and-white sandstone at Red Rock Canyon NCA

Stage 1: The land surface, represented by two stratigraphic layers, is fractured by a low-angle fault. Thrust Fault
Stage 2: Tectonic forces compress the land surface. Because of the low-angle fault, layers on the left side of the fault are forced up and over layers on the right side. Thrust Fault
Stage 3: Over time, the upper layers erode away, exposing lower layers. Thrust Fault
Thrust Fault: In some cases, the upper layer does not slide easily over the lower layer. The upper layer gets caught, but forces continue sliding the layer along, causing a loop (over-thrust) to form. Thrust Fault
Thrust Fault: Over time, the upper layers erode, exposing upside-down rock layers Thrust Fault

Happy hiking! All distances, elevations, and other facts are approximate.
copyright; Last updated 110526

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