Fault Block Mountains

Fault block mountains are distinguished by great sheer rock faces.

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These form when enormous underground pressure forces a whole rock mass to break away from another.

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The line at which this break takes place is called a fault. On one side of this break the rocks rise; on the other side they sink down.

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Some of the most spectacular mountain scenery anywhere are the great rock walls of the Sierra Nevada which are actually the sides of huge tilted fault blocks. The Sierra Nevada are in fact the broken upper edge of a huge plate that tilts down toward the west to nearly five miles below the surface of the Pacific Ocean.

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To help us further understand these magnificent structures, we created our own fault block mountains using artificial grass, styrofoam blocks, and regular blocks.

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