Scientists examine tectonic faulting on all scales—from seismic fault slip to the formation of mountain ranges—and discuss its connection to a wide range of global phenomena, including long-term climate change and evolution.
Tectonic faults are sites of localized motion, both at the Earth's surface and within its dynamic interior. Faulting is directly linked to a wide range of global phenomena, including long-term climate change and the evolution of hominids, the opening and closure of oceans, and the rise and fall of mountain ranges. In Tectonic Faults, scientists from a variety of disciplines explore the connections between faulting and the processes of the Earth's atmosphere, surface, and interior. They consider faults and faulting from many different vantage points—including those of surface analysts, geochemists, material scientists, and physicists—and in all scales, from seismic fault slip to moving tectonic plates. They address basic issues, including the imaging of faults from Earth's surface to the base of the lithosphere and deeper, the structure and rheology of fault rocks, and the role of fluids and melt on the physical properties of deforming rock. They suggest strategies for understanding the interaction of faulting with topography and climate, predicting fault behavior, and interpreting the impacts on the rock record and the human environment. Using an Earth Systems approach, Tectonic Faults provides a new understanding of feedback between faulting and Earth's atmospheric, surface, and interior processes, and recommends new approaches for advancing knowledge of tectonic faults as an integral part of our dynamic planet.