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When plate tectonics causes part of the Earth's crust to compress, as in a zone of collision, or to extend, as in a zone of rifting, faults must form to help accomplish this task. While the deeper layers of rock, due to extreme heat and pressure, can fairly easily deform to accommodate the stretching of rifting or the compression of collision, the brittle rock of the uppermost crust must break and slide along faults to achieve this kind of motion. This graphical study shows how different senses of dip slip on faults can affect the dimensions of the Earth's crust. The accompanying study questions connect these relationships to tectonic regimes and the geological features found there.
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