recent structural movements

Aug 14th, 2016
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IntroductionMany of the most informative pieces of evidence for the manner in which rocks deform come from thesmall increments of movement to which geologists have been witness. Much of geology, in fact, has inrecent years been reviewed in light of a compromise between the previously antithetical hypotheses ofcatastrophism and uniformitarianism.For example, major components of total displacement along fault zones are now thought to be the resultof significant seismic events. Such events were previously thought to represent minor catastropheswhose contribution to overall offset was secondary to the more continuous, slow, and imperceptiblefailure and slippage of rocks called "creep." Strong and shallow seismic disturbances, such as those thatoccurred near Shen Shu, China, in 1556, Lisbon in 1755, San Francisco in 1906, Tokyo in 1923, Chile in1960, and Sherman, Alaska, in 1964, have been able to create large and essentially instantaneouschanges in topography. In addition, Richter (1952) offers a number of other well-known examples ofhistorically documented movements associated with major earthquakes.Figure 1Figure 1and Figure 2 (Charts comparing the rates of common sedimentary and tectonic processes in various partsof the world) display a comparative range of rates for present-day tectonic activity.Figure 2These are also measured relative to the slowest and fastest rates of sedimentation, and rapid denudation.Obviously, in terms of geologic processes, tec

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