rift

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rift

1
Geology a long narrow zone of faulting resulting from tensional stress in the earth's crust

rift

2 US
1. a shallow or rocky part in a stream
2. the backwash from a wave that has just broken

Rift

 

a major linear tectonic structure of the earth’s crust hundreds and thousands of kilometers long that forms when the crust is horizontally extended; this process usually occurs where there is a vast arching uplift. It is believed that the entire thickness or a significant part of the thickness of the earth’s crust is being extended.

A rift consists mainly of a series of fractures, among which faults with inclined surfaces predominate; the crustal sector lying above the surface of a fault is also dislocated downward. The sum of the horizontal components of all such shifts compensates for the horizontal extension of the crust. The dip of a fault is usually 60°-70°, and the vertical amplitude of the shift along a fault may reach 5 km. The crustal extension can be several kilometers, and in some cases, several tens of kilometers long.

Various types of grabens and horsts are found within a rift. The graben is the chief structural form. A rift usually begins to form, however, with a gentle upward bend of the crust in the form of a tectonic arch; the arch later breaks up and separates into grabens and horsts. Very large rifts are called rift zones or systems.

V. V. BELOUSOV

rift

[rift]
(geology)
A narrow opening in a rock caused by cracking or splitting.
A high, narrow passage in a cave.

rift

The direction in which stone splits most readily; characteristic of granite or other stone not having visible stratification or foliation.