Plate Tectonics

Types of Faults

Faults usually occur along tectonic plate boundaries, whether it be convergent boundaries, divergent boundaries or transform boundaries. Earthquakes often occur in areas that contain faults. But there is more than one type of fault. Most faults cannot be seen since they are buried deep in the earth's crust. Each of the three types of faults below can occur at any type of tectonic plate boundaries. Similar to how tectonic plates move, rocks on either side of the faults also move in similar manners.

Three types of faults
Strike Slip Faults

Strike slip faults are the main fault along transform plate tectonic boundaries. In a strike slip fault, the blocks of rock move sideways as they pass each other on a horizontal plane.

Types of Faults

Normal Faults


Normal faults usually occur at divergent plate boundaries. The rocks or seafloor spread apart and new crust is formed. With normal faults, the rocks on one side of the normal fault moves downward against the rocks on the other side.

Normal faults

Reverse Faults


Reverse faults are the opposite of normal faults. The rocks on one side of a reverse fault moves upward. This movement of rocks at reverse faults often causes earthquakes.

reverse faults