normal fault

[ nawr-muhl fawlt ]
/ ˈnɔr məl ˌfɔlt /

noun Geology.

a fault along an inclined plane in which the upper side or hanging wall appears to have moved downward with respect to the lower side or footwall (opposed to reverse fault).

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Also called grav·i·ty fault [grav-i-tee fawlt] /ˈgræv ɪ ti ˌfɔlt/ .

Origin of normal fault

First recorded in 1875–80
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

Scientific definitions for normal fault

normal fault

A geologic fault in which the hanging wall has moved downward relative to the footwall. Normal faults occur where two blocks of rock are pulled apart, as by tension. Compare reverse fault. See Note and illustration at fault.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.