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Escarpment

From Academic Kids

In geology, an escarpment is a transition zone between different physiogeographic provinces that involves an elevation differential, often involving high cliffs. Most commonly, an escarpment, also called a scarp, is a transition from one series of sedimentary rocks to another series of a different age and composition. In such cases, the escarpment usually represents the line of erosional loss of the newer rock over the older.

Missing image
Cuesta0220.jpg
Escarpment face of a cuesta
broken by a fault
Cumberland Plateau Tennessee

Escarpments are also frequently formed by faults. In some cases land may be lifted to an elevation above the surrounding area by a thrust fault. A strike-slip fault may bring a piece of high ground adjacent to an area of lower ground. The latter is common in California along the San Andreas fault and the many other strike-slip faults in the area.

In England escarpments are found in a diagonal line across the country from the Yorkshire coast on the North Sea to the Hampshire coast on the English Channel. There the features of an escarpment include the scarp slope (the leading edge); the dip slope, dry valleys, coombes (both found in chalk downland), and clay vales occur on the side away from the scarp.

There are escarpments on other planets besides Earth. They are believed to be created when the crust contracts; as a result of cooling.

More loosely the term is used to describe the zone between coastal lowlands and continental plateau, ie having a marked change in altitude.

Significant escarpments

See also

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