Active and Inactive Faults

Following Tomas post let’s stay a little longer on the Corinth Canal. The 6 km long famous Corinth Canal despite being an amazing feat of engineering, since it was constructed 120 year ago, it’s also a geology field trip favourite because it is basically a MEGA TRENCH.

More than 40 faults can be identified some of them offsetting the entire sedimentary column, whereas others are confined within the lower sediments. Therefore, this photo shows a very nice example of an active and inactive fault within the same outcrop. You can rarely see something like that and this is a unique site where everybody can see and comprehend it.

View of an active and inactive fault

View of an active and inactive fault

Faults also die.

Faults also die.

It shows also that faults die. This is very important because there are numerous faults in the crust, however the majority of them are inactive (e.g. can not give an earthquake today, but they did so in the past). So for earthquake geologists their first major goal is to identify which of the faults they map are active (e.g. can generate earthquakes today and represent seismic sources).

Faults also die.

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Ioannis Papanikolaou

Ioannis Papanikolaou

is a Senior Lecturer in the Mineralogy-Geology Lab of the Agricultural University of Athens, member of the Aon Benfield-UCL Hazard Research Centre and Hons Research Fellow at the Dept of Earth Sciences at University College London (UCL).

See all posts Ioannis Papanikolaou


  • Mary Grace Amancio | 2014-08-14|10:09 (UTC)

    ah ok … thank you 🙂

  • Justine Riva Unson | 2014-08-30|09:43 (UTC)

    thanks for giving the definition 🙂

  • milleni v cerda | 2014-09-12|08:38 (UTC)

    ah thank you for definition

  • caira gomez | 2015-08-17|10:58 (UTC)

    eto lang ba?

  • caira gomez | 2015-08-17|11:00 (UTC)

    wala bang inactive na faults line ha kasi sabi nila merong inactive at active na faults line hello duh?

  • maria anna | 2015-10-09|00:26 (UTC)

    Thanks upo

  • lei | 2016-08-10|08:55 (UTC)

    active faults are structure along which we expect displacement to

  • Phoeb | 2017-09-12|06:18 (UTC)

    What are the most dangerous and hazardous, active fault or inactive fault? Why?

  • Christoph Grützner | 2017-09-14|10:54 (UTC)

    The highest hazard comes from those that move fast (high slip rate), those that are long enough to produce strong earthquakes (say, at least 10 km for aM6.0 earthquake, at least 30 km or so for a M7.0 and so on), and those that are close to densely populated areas and infrastructure.
    Then of course you also have to think about landslides and rockfalls that may be triggered by the earthquakes, and of course there are the subduction zones that may cause tsunamis.

  • jhon sapatrha | 2018-09-13|09:11 (UTC)

    bobo nyo naman po!!

  • Madeline Sophie Rayala Chan | 2019-10-18|06:32 (UTC)

    tangina mo kulangkulang gago.

  • hannah | 2022-01-28|03:11 (UTC)

    kulang naman po yung binigay ninyo

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