Terminology of folds Some basic information about fold description and geometry
Tectonic stress slowly applied to rocks will cause them to bend.  Flat rocks Folded rocks Tectonic stress  +  lots of time...
antiform antiform antiform synform synform As geologists we need to be able to describe folds: An upward fold is an antifo...
As folds are wave shaped (waveforms) we use the same terminology that is used in physics to identify the parts of a wave: ...
Amplitude (a) is the maximum displacement from a central position in either direction. Wavelength (⋋) is the distance for ...
The limbs are the flanks of the fold and are relatively planar. The angle created by the intersection of the two limbs is ...
Looking in 2D Some terms to describe the orientation of a fold
The hinge is the area of maximum curvature on the same layer. As a seismic profile only gives us a 2D view, we can only se...
When there are many fold layers: The hinge is marked on every layer. ✕ ✕ ✕ ✕ All the hinges are joined to create an imagin...
Look in 3D
Because this is an E-W view, we do not know what this fold does to the south. It could be flat, or it may tilt, a parallel...
✕ This single fold layer can be divided by an imaginary surface called the axial plane.  ✕ It is a planar surface that cut...
✕ The intersection of the hinge with the axial plane is called the fold axis.  ✕ It is a direction, here the fold axis is ...
✕ ✕ ✕ ✕ Plot the hinge lines on both profiles for all layers. ✕ ✕ ✕ ✕ Join the hinge lines together to create a surface – ...
✕ ✕ ✕ ✕ Observe what happens when the fold axial plane for the topmost layer is added.  ✕ ✕ ✕ ✕ The fold axial plane is fo...
✕ ✕ ✕ ✕ ✕ ✕ ✕ ✕ This is an upright fold. ✕ ✕ ✕ ✕ The orientation of the axial plane or axial surface is used to describe t...
✕ ✕ ✕ ✕ ✕ ✕ ✕ ✕ This fold has a plunge of 40°.  ✕ ✕ ✕ ✕ If the hinge line (or fold axis) is not horizontal but dips, then ...
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Terminology of folds v3

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Terminology of folds v3

  1. 1. Terminology of folds Some basic information about fold description and geometry
  2. 2. Tectonic stress slowly applied to rocks will cause them to bend. Flat rocks Folded rocks Tectonic stress + lots of time Photographs reproduced with the permission of the British Geological Survey ©NERC. All rights Reserved. P006281 P007923 The features produced are called folds. The rocks undergo permanent strain.
  3. 3. antiform antiform antiform synform synform As geologists we need to be able to describe folds: An upward fold is an antiform. A downward fold is a synform. This is a series of folds.
  4. 4. As folds are wave shaped (waveforms) we use the same terminology that is used in physics to identify the parts of a wave: The very top of an antiform is the crest. The very bottom of a synform is the trough. crest trough
  5. 5. Amplitude (a) is the maximum displacement from a central position in either direction. Wavelength (⋋) is the distance for one complete cycle e.g. from crest to crest or trough to trough. wavelength (⋋) 2 × amplitude (a)
  6. 6. The limbs are the flanks of the fold and are relatively planar. The angle created by the intersection of the two limbs is called the interlimb angle and is used to describe a fold. Interlimb angle From this angle folds are described with terms such as open or tight, look in the links section for all the definitions. limb limb
  7. 7. Looking in 2D Some terms to describe the orientation of a fold
  8. 8. The hinge is the area of maximum curvature on the same layer. As a seismic profile only gives us a 2D view, we can only see the hinge as a point here. ✕ The hinge is really a line, see the 3D slide for more. limb limb hinge
  9. 9. When there are many fold layers: The hinge is marked on every layer. ✕ ✕ ✕ ✕ All the hinges are joined to create an imaginary surface (remember the hinge is a line). This line is called the axial surface. axial surface (seen end on) The axial surface divides all the fold layers as symmetrically as possible.
  10. 10. Look in 3D
  11. 11. Because this is an E-W view, we do not know what this fold does to the south. It could be flat, or it may tilt, a parallel seismic profile would tell us. ✕ ✕ ✕ ✕ Plot the position of the hinge on the southern fold. ✕ Joining these up gives us the hinge line. ✕ ✕ ✕ ✕ Hinge line E
  12. 12. ✕ This single fold layer can be divided by an imaginary surface called the axial plane. ✕ It is a planar surface that cuts the interlimb angle and divides this single fold as symmetrically as possible. Hinge line E Fold axial plane
  13. 13. ✕ The intersection of the hinge with the axial plane is called the fold axis. ✕ It is a direction, here the fold axis is NW to SE (it can be measured as a bearing). Sometimes this direction is called the trend. Fold axis Hinge line E Fold axial plane
  14. 14. ✕ ✕ ✕ ✕ Plot the hinge lines on both profiles for all layers. ✕ ✕ ✕ ✕ Join the hinge lines together to create a surface – fold axial surface. When there are many fold layers a fold axial surface is needed to describe the orientation of the fold. ✕ ✕ ✕ ✕ Hinge line E Fold axial surface
  15. 15. ✕ ✕ ✕ ✕ Observe what happens when the fold axial plane for the topmost layer is added. ✕ ✕ ✕ ✕ The fold axial plane is for only one layer. The fold axial surface is for many layers, notice it is not planar. ✕ ✕ ✕ ✕ Hinge line E Fold axial surface Fold axial plane
  16. 16. ✕ ✕ ✕ ✕ ✕ ✕ ✕ ✕ This is an upright fold. ✕ ✕ ✕ ✕ The orientation of the axial plane or axial surface is used to describe the attitude of the fold, using terms such as upright, inclined etc. Look in the links section for all the definitions. E
  17. 17. ✕ ✕ ✕ ✕ ✕ ✕ ✕ ✕ This fold has a plunge of 40°. ✕ ✕ ✕ ✕ If the hinge line (or fold axis) is not horizontal but dips, then the angle from the horizontal is measured as the plunge. E Angle of Plunge Horizontal

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