|Normal Faults in Road Cut Near Shoshone - California|
Normal, or Dip-slip, faults are inclined fractures where the blocks have mostly shifted vertically. If the rock mass above an inclined fault moves down, the fault is termed normal, whereas if the rock above the fault moves up, the fault is termed a Reverse fault.
Normal faults generally occur in places where the lithosphere is being stretched. Consequently they are the chief structural components of many sedimentary rift basins (e.g. the North Sea) where they have major significance for hydrocarbon exploration. They can also be found in deltas, at the rear edges of huge gravitation slumps and slides.