What is Folding?

By BYJU'S Exam Prep

Updated on: November 9th, 2023

Folding is a type of movement of the Earth that is caused by the horizontal compression of rock layers by the Earth’s internal forces along the plate boundaries. Anticlines are the names of up folds, and synclines are the names of downfolds. The Himalayas, the Alps, etc., were created through the process of folding. They can be found as single isolated folds or as periodic sets.

Folding Definition and Meaning

A fold is a stack of originally planar surfaces, such as sedimentary strata, that are bent or curved during permanent deformation in structural geology. Rock folds can range in size from microscopic crinkles to mountain-sized folds.

  • Stratified rocks were initially formed from sediments laid in flat, horizontal sheets. But in some areas, the strata have deformed and are no longer horizontal.
  • On the Earth’s surface, massive folds often have their tops eroded, leaving an inclined-level cross-section.
  • Folds are usually classified based on the orientation of their axes and how they appear in a cross-section perpendicular to the tendency of the fold.
  • The surface or plane which divides a fold as symmetrically as possible is known as the axial plane.
  • The axial plane can be straight, perpendicular, or oblique at any angle. The point where the axial plane and a layer forming the fold intersect is known as the axis of the fold.
  • The dip is the angle of inclination of the axis, measured about the horizontal. The folds, limbs, or slopes of a fold are the parts of the fold that lie between adjacent axes.


What is Folding?

Folding is the horizontal compression of rock layers along plate boundaries by the earth’s internal forces, resulting in a type of earth movement. In geology, a fold is an undulation or wave in the stratified rocks of the Earth’s crust.

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