elastic rebound theory

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elastic rebound theory

[i′las·tik ′rē‚bau̇nd ‚thē·ə·rē]
(geology)
A theory which attributes faulting to stresses (in the form of potential energy) which are being built up in the earth and which, at discrete intervals, are suddenly released as elastic energy; at the time of rupture the rocks on either side of the fault spring back to a position of little or no strain.