Research NewsGeology

Faults Stretch Rocks--and Theorists' Imaginations

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Science  24 Nov 1995:
Vol. 270, Issue 5240, pp. 1301
DOI: 10.1126/science.270.5240.1301


Can Earth's crust fracture along gently tilted faults when it is pulled apart? The question provoked a debate at this year's Geological Society of America meeting in New Orleans. Geologists studying the rocks of the American Southwest say the evidence of such low-angle faulting is beyond dispute. Theorists who calculate how rocks should behave under stress say that the process simply can't happen; the geologists must be misinterpreting their observations