WHOSE FAULT IS IT?
Earth's crust is broken into many pieces called plates. Within each plate, smaller breaks are found along which movement occurs. These breaks are called faults. Students will use blocks of wood to distinguish among fault types and describe the movement along each type.
Instructional Method: Experiment
Goal: Introduce students to three different fault types and the movements along each type.
Objectives: Students will be able to:
- Sketch the three fault types.
- Describe fault movements using wood blocks.
Activity time: 30 minutes
- Angled wood blocks with rough surfaces
A fracture in rock along which movement occurs is called a fault. Geologists consider faults to be a planar break in rock, along which there has been movement of one side relative to the other. Pieces of crust on either side of a fault are known as fault blocks. Each block moves as an individual unit during earthquakes. It is helpful to imagine breaks in this manner because it allows you to use common objects to simulate fault block interactions.
Faults can be very short or can be miles in length, continuous or intermittent. There are three common fault types, classified according to fault block motion. They are: