PerspectiveGeophysics

How Faults Accommodate Plate Motion

Science  16 May 2003:
Vol. 300, Issue 5622, pp. 1105-1106
DOI: 10.1126/science.1084028

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Summary

At many geologic plate boundaries, the two plates both move toward one another and slide past one another. In these cases, the motion is usually partitioned such that one fault accommodates horizontal slip, while another accommodates vertical slip. In his Perspective, Jones explains how this "slip partitioning" arises. He highlights the reports by Eberhart-Phillips et al. and Bowman et al., who shed light on the complex fault geometries in Alaska, southern California, and Asia. The motions at these faults present some of the largest geologic threats to humanity.

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