Definition - What does Monocline mean?

A Monocline is a form of a geological structure with folds in the rock strata which resemble steps. There are two or more horizontal limbs in this structure which are joined by an inclined short limb. The rock strata in this formation inclines towards a single direction. Monocline geological structure is found in the regions where dip slip movement along with vertical movement deform the sedimentary rocks. The deformation of sedimentary rocks can happen to the deeper and older formations as well. A Monocline usually has forced folds or drape folds in it because of the underlying faults that caused the movement.

Petropedia explains Monocline

Geological structure of rock strata can be shaped due to a number of natural reasons. When the dip slip movement or the underlying fault of a strata cause movement in the above rock strata, it can cause folds or drapes in the layer. This results in the formation of a Monocline, which is a geological formation in which the rock strata has folds in it. These folds resemble steps because the entire strata leans towards the same direction. The following reasons can cause the formation of Monoclines:

  • Fault propagation – extensional fault or reverse fault
  • Reactivation of extensional fault
  • Differential compaction
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