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[foo t-wawl] /ˈfʊtˌwɔl/
Mining. the top of the rock stratum underlying a vein or bed of ore.
Compare hanging wall (def 1).
Geology. a mass of rock lying beneath a fault plane.
Origin of footwall
First recorded in 1640-50; foot + wall Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for footwall
Historical Examples
  • The total area of ore measured on the footwall was 785 acres.

  • But the hardest rock of the hanging or footwall, however, is seldom as hard as the harder class of ore.

    De Re Metallica Georgius Agricola
  • To these timbers are fixed small timbers along the footwall, to which are fastened the lagging and ladders.

    De Re Metallica Georgius Agricola
  • Stringers are given the same characteristics as veins, but divided into hanging, footwall, and other varieties.

    De Re Metallica Georgius Agricola
  • The ratio of ore area to total explored area, measured in the plane of the footwall, was 21-½ per cent.

British Dictionary definitions for footwall


the rocks on the lower side of an inclined fault plane or mineral vein Compare hanging wall
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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footwall in Science
The block of rock lying under an inclined geologic fault plane. See more at fault. Compare hanging wall.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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