Types of Geological Folds With Photos

Types of Geological Folds With Photos
Types of Geological Folds With Photos

Fold occurs when one or a stack of originally flat and planar surfaces, such as sedimentary strata, are bent or curved as a result of permanent deformation. Synsedimentary folds are those due to slumping of sedimentary material before it is lithified. Folds in rocks vary in size from microscopic crinkles to mountain-sized folds. They occur singly as isolated folds and in extensive fold trains of different sizes, on a variety of scales. The oldest rock layers form the core of the fold, and outward from the core progressively younger rocks occur.

The Terminology of a Fold
10 Amazing Geological Folds You Should See 

Fold Classification

Folds are classified on the basis of several geometric factors:
Tightness of folding
The tighness of folds can be described as open (limbs dip gently), tight (limbs dip steeply) or isoclinal (limbs are parallel).

Orientation of axial plane
The orientation of the axial plane relative to the horizontal together with the orientation of fold limbs allow subdivision into upright (axial plane vertical, limbs symmetric), overturned (axial plane moderately inclined, one limb overturned), or recumbent (axial plane near horizontal, one limb inverted).

Thickness of folded beds

Thickly-bedded, brittle units tend to form concentric folds with the bed thickness preserved normal to bedding surfaces. Thinly-bedded, clay-rich units have a tendency to develop a foliation parallel to the axial plane and form similar folds with the vertical distance between top and bottom of the unit preserved through the deformation.

Types of folds


Types of Folds With Photos
This anticline is in Alberta, Canada in the Rocky Mountains

Anticline is a fold that is convex up and has its oldest beds at its core. The term is not to be confused with antiform, which is a purely descriptive term for any fold that is convex up. Therefore if age relationships between various strata are unknown, the term antiform should be used.


Types of Folds With Photos
Syncline sidling hill

A syncline is a fold with younger layers closer to the center of the structure. Synclines are typically a downward fold, termed a synformal syncline (i.e. a trough); but synclines that point upwards, or perched, can be found when strata have been overturned and folded (an antiformal syncline).


Types of Folds With Photos

local warping in horizontal strata. Rock beds lying at two level separated by steep inclined limbs. It is form by vertical movement and generally found fault below monocline. a step-like fold in rock strata consisting of a zone of steeper dip within an otherwise horizontal or gently-dipping sequence.

Chevron fold 

Types of Folds With Photos
Chevron folds with flat-lying axial planes, Millook Haven, North Cornwall, UK

Chevron folds are a structural feature characterized by repeated well behaved folded beds with straight limbs and sharp hinges. Well developed, these folds develop repeated set of v-shaped beds. They develop in response to regional or local compressive stress. Inter-limb angles are generally 60 degrees or less. Chevron folding preferentially occurs when the bedding regularly alternates between contrasting competences.

Recumbent fold

Types of Folds With Photos
Recumbent fold Bahrain
Recumbent fold has an essentially horizontal axial plane. linear, fold axial plane oriented at low angle resulting in overturned strata in one limb of the fold.

Isoclinal fold

Isoclinal fold

Isoclinal folds are similar to symmetrical folds, but these folds both have the same angle and are parallel to each other. 'Iso' means 'the same' (symmetrical), and 'cline' means 'angle,' so this name literally means 'same angle.' So isoclinal folds are both symmetrical and aligned in a parallel fashion.

Plunging fold

Types of Folds With Photos
Plunging chevron folds 

A fold whose axis plane is not horizontal (not Parallel to sea level). Direction of plunge - the direction in which the axis is inclined nose - indicate the direction of plunge. In anticline, plunge is directed towards nose and in syncline it is directed away from nose.

Dome and Basin

Types of Folds With Photos
Desert of Mauritania. dome.

We also have domes, which are like anticlines but instead of an arch, the fold is in a dome shape, like an inverted bowl. Similarly, there are also basins, which are like synclines but again, instead of a sinking arch, the fold is in a shape of a bowl sinking down into the ground. Dome: nonlinear, strata dip away from center in all directions, oldest strata in center. Basin: nonlinear, strata dip toward center in all directions, youngest strata in center.

Ptygmatic fold

Types of Folds With Photos

 Folds are chaotic, random and disconnected. Typical of sedimentary slump folding, migmatites and decollement detachment zones. Ptygmatic folds generally represent conditions where the folded material is of a much greater viscosity than the surrounding medium. 

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