Fault: Strike-slip direction (left lateral and right lateral)

What is the

The main sense of slip across a strike-slip fault is horizontal. But the movement can be right lateral (ground on opposite side of fault is moving right with respect to the other block) or left lateral (ground opposite moves left).

Wallace Creek segment of the San Andreas Fault is example of a right-lateral strike-slip fault. The entire San Andreas Fault has right-lateral motion with the Pacific Plate moving northwest along the eastern margin of the North American Plate.


Keypoints:

  • Motion along a strike-slip fault is horizontal
  • Shear stress is acting on the blocks
  • The fault surface is near vertical
  • Stress can have right-lateral, or left-lateral motion.
  • The San Andreas Fault is  right-lateral

Related Animations

In a strike-slip fault, the movement of blocks along a fault is horizontal. The fault motion of a strike-slip fault is caused by shearing forces. Other names: transcurrent fault, lateral fault, tear fault or wrench fault. Examples: San Andreas Fault, California; Anatolian Fault, Turkey.

Animation Novice

Animation shows the buildup of stress along the margin of two stuck plates that are trying to slide past one another. Stress and strain increase along the contact until the friction is overcome and rock breaks.

Animation Novice

Left-lateral fault strike slip fault with little or no friction along fault contact. There is no deformation of the rock adjacent to contact. If the block opposite an observer looking across the fault moves to the left, the motion is termed left lateral.

Animation Novice

Left-lateral fault strike slip fault with low friction along fault contact. There is no deformation of the rock adjacent to contact. If the block opposite an observer looking across the fault moves to the left, the motion is termed left lateral. Example: the San Andreas Fault of California

Animation Novice

A transform fault is a type of strike-slip fault wherein the relative horizontal slip is accommodating the movement between two ocean ridges or other tectonic boundaries. They are connected on both ends to other faults.

Animation Novice