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Earthquakes
Earth Has Its Faults



Earth Has Its Faults
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   high interest, readability grades 4 to 5
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   3.98

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    offset, scarp, strike-slip, lateral, compression, original, reverse, between, breathtaking, stress, thrust, interesting, meters, crack, level, rocks
     content words:    San Andreas Fault, Pacific Plate, North American Plate, Andreas Fault


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Earth Has Its Faults
By Patti Hutchison
  

1     A fault is a crack between two blocks of rock. They allow rocks to move apart or together. Sometimes they slide past one another. This movement can occur quickly, causing an earthquake. Or it can happen very slowly, in the form of creep. Faults can be a few millimeters or thousands of kilometers in length.
 
2     Stress within the earth's crust can cause rocks to break. This is what forms the fault. The rock above the fault is called a hanging wall. The rock below is called the foot wall. Rocks move along the faults. The area where the movement occurs is called the fault plane. The movement that takes place determines what type of fault occurs.
 
3     There are several different types of faults. One is called a normal fault, even though it is not the most common kind of fault. What is normal about this kind of fault is that it follows the gravitational pull on the fault blocks. The movement is in a vertical direction.

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