Reverse Fault

Definition - What does Reverse Fault mean?

A Reverse Fault is a crack whereby the hanging wall rises up relative to the footwall. The angle of fracture plane from the horizontal is steep. The fault occurs as a result of horizontal compressional forces which are caused due to contraction of the earth’s crust. These forces cause faults that develop on the surface of the earth. The faults may be few centimeters to several kilometers long and deep.

Petropedia explains Reverse Fault

The outer portion of Earth is cold relative to its inner portion and it tends to break when it experiences stress. These cracks caused in the surface or in any geological rock formations form faults. There are two terminologies associated with reverse faults:

  • Hanging Wall – It is the portion of rock formed because of a crack or fault that looks like it is hanging out over the side of the other cracked portion.
  • Foot Wall – It is the other part of the faulted rock portion.

The rocks underneath the earth’s crust develop fractures/ cracks due to several powerful forces acting on them. The ground/ rocks on one side of the crack move up relative to the ground/ rocks on the other side of the crack. These faults act as structural traps for petroleum and affect entrapment and migration of oil.

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