Faulting is essentially a process of rupturing and displacement along the plane of rupture.
Its effect may involve:
- Changes in the elevation of the ground,
- Omission of some strata where they are normally expected,
iii. Repetition of some strata in a given direction against the normal order of superposition, and,
- Displacements and shifts in the continuity of the same rocks in certain regions.
In faults of some magnitude, it needs lot of fieldwork involving extensive mapping on the exposed outcrops and also geophysical measurements for establishing contacts of different types of rocks. It is only from the study of geological maps that the existence of faults at the first place and their effects on the rocks may get established with some certainty.
Further, the features produced due to faulting on the ground are subject to modifications by the subaerial processes of weathering and erosion with the passage of time. Hence what we describe today as the effects of faults may be, in fact, the effects of faults as modified by erosion and weathering.
Effect of Faulting On Topography:
One of the main effects of the faults on topography is that they very often result in the development of distinct types of steep slopes which are aptly called fault scarps. Three types of fault associated scarps are often recognized– fault scarps, fault-line scarps and composite-fault scarps.
In fault scarps, the relief is developed due to downward slip along the fault surface.
In the fault-line scarps, however, the slope relief is produced due to process of unequal erosion along the fault line with the passage of time.
When a given slope is believed to be the result of both of these processes, the scarp is of a composite type.
Besides fault scarps, faulting is also responsible for development of Block Mountains like horsts and deep elongated valleys called the grabens and the rift valleys.
Faults are also known to cause deflection in the course of streams.
Similarly, in certain regions, a number of springs may come into being along a fault line that happens to cut across an aquifer. These aligned springs may often prove to be an important evidence of faulting in the region.