A transform fault is a plate boundary along which plate motion is parallel with the strike of the boundary. Along such a boundary, ideally, crust is neither generated nor destroyed, and that is why they are also called conservative plate boundaries. In real life, the thermal and mechanical properties of the crust and upper mantle and the time-averaged behaviour of the spreading centre and subduction zones in the oceans impose a finite width on transform faults in which deformation is complex, forming a fault zone rather than a single clean fault. Large, active, continental transform faults, such as the San Andreas Fault system in California, the North Anatolian Fault system in northern Turkey, the Alpine Fault in New Zealand, and the Altyn Tagh Fault in northern Tibetan Plateau, constitute veritable keirogens. In this entry, the emphasis is on the oceanic transform faults, in keeping with the theme of the volume.
KeywordsSubduction Zone Fracture Zone Oceanic Crust Tarim Basin Plate Boundary
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Some Complementary Web Sites for School and Elementary University Levels
- http://plateboundary.rice.edu/. Last visited on 22 March 2013.
- http://web.viu.ca/earle/transform-model/. Last visited on 22 March 2013.
- http://www.bioygeo.info/Animaciones/TransformFaultsV2.swf. Last visited on 22 March 2013.
- http://www.earthds.info/pdfs/EDS_20.PDF. Last visited on 22 March 2013.
- http://www.earthlearningidea.com/PDF/84_Transform_faults.pdf. Last visited on 22 March 2013.
- http://www.open.edu/openlearn/science-maths-technology/science/geology/plate-tectonics/content-section-3.8. Last visited on 22 March 2013.
- http://www.wwnorton.com/college/geo/oceansci/animations.asp#ch4. Last visited on 22 March 2013.
Advanced Undergraduate and Postgraduate Levels
- http://geoscience.wisc.edu/~chuck/MORVEL/trf_flts.html. Last visited on 22 March 2013.