USGS - science for a changing world

Geology and National Parks

 

Geology, Minerals, Energy and Geophysics Science Center home

The information found here reflects completed USGS work. The content of this page is static and has not been updated since the mid 2000's.

Visual Glossary

hanging wall and foot wall of a reverse fault

Hanging wall
Foot wall

We classify faults by how the two rocky blocks on either side of a fault move relative to each other. The one you see here is a reverse fault. Take a look at the side that shows the fault and arrows indicating movement. See the block farthest to the right that is shaped kind of like a foot? That's the foot wall. Now look at the block on the other side of the fault. See how it's resting or hanging on top of the footwall block? That's the hanging wall.

Here's another way to think of it: the hanging wall block is always above the fault plane, while the foot wall block is always below the fault plane.

Learn more about faults or use back button to return to previous page.

Accessibility FOIA Privacy Policies and Notices

USA.gov logo U.S. Department of the Interior | U.S. Geological Survey
URL: http://geomaps.wr.usgs.gov/parks/deform/ghangft.html
Page Contact Information: G & G Webmasters
Page Last Modified: 25-Apr-2017@09:48