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escarpment
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- the content below is remote from Wikipedia
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{{short description|Steep slope or cliff separating two relatively level regions}}{{more references|date=July 2015}}
missing image!
- Cuesta - Lookout Mountain, Georgia.png -
Escarpment face of a cuesta, broken by a fault, overlooking Trenton, Cloudland Canyon State Park, and Lookout Mountain, in Georgia (U.S. state)|Georgia
An escarpment, or scarp, is a steep slope or long cliff that forms as a result of faulting or erosion and separates two relatively level areas having different elevations. Usually scarp and scarp face are used interchangeably with escarpment.Some sources differentiate the two terms, however, where escarpment refers to the margin between two landforms (while scarp remains synonymous with a cliff or steep slope).Easterbrook, D. J. (1999) Surface processes and landforms. (Second Ed). Prentice Hall, Upper Saddle River, New Jersey.Summary: Escarpments, US Army Corps of Engineers. In this usage an escarpment is a ridge which has a gentle slope on one side and a steep scarp on the other side.More loosely, the term scarp also describes a zone between a coastal lowland and a continental plateau which shows a marked, abrupt change in elevation{{cn|date=March 2019}} caused by coastal erosion at the base of the plateau.

Formation and description

Scarps are generally formed by one of two processes: either by differential erosion of sedimentary rocks, or by movement of the Earth's crust at a geologic fault. The first is the more common type: the escarpment is a transition from one series of sedimentary rocks to another series of a different age and composition. Escarpments are also frequently formed by faults. When a fault displaces the ground surface so that one side is higher than the other, a fault scarp is created. This can occur in dip-slip faults, or when a strike-slip fault brings a piece of high ground adjacent to an area of lower ground.
missing image!
- Cuesta schematic1.PNG -
right|Schematic cross section of a cuesta, dip slopes facing left, and harder rocklayers in darker colors than softer ones.
Earth is not the only planet where escarpments occur. They are believed to occur on other planets when the crust contracts, as a result of cooling. On other Solar System bodies such as Mercury, Mars, and the Moon, the Latin term rupes is used for an escarpment.
missing image!
- Alpine Fault SRTM (vertical).jpg -
Shaded and colored image from the Shuttle Radar Topography Mission—shows an elevation model of New Zealand's Alpine Fault running about 500 km (300 mi) long. The escarpment is flanked by a chain of hills squeezed between the fault and the mountains of New Zealand's Southern Alps. Northeast is towards the top.

Erosion

When sedimentary beds are tilted and exposed to the surface, erosion and weathering may occur. Escarpments erode gradually and over geological time. The mélange tendencies of escarpments results in varying contacts between a multitude of rock types. These different rock types weather at different speeds, according to Goldich dissolution series so different stages of deformation can often be seen in the layers where the escarpments have been exposed to the elements.

Significant escarpments

Africa

Antarctica

Asia

Australia and New Zealand

Europe

missing image!
- SierraEscarpmentCA.jpg -
The Sierra Escarpment in California.

North America

missing image!
- Fixed gulf map.png -
At the Florida Escarpment, seen in the eastern Gulf of Mexico, the sea bed drops precipitously from less than {{convert|300|to|3000|m|ft|abbr=on|sigfig=1}} over a short distance.

South America

See also

  • {{annotated link|Cuesta}}
  • {{annotated link|Fall line}}
  • {{annotated link|List of geological features on Mercury}}
  • {{annotated link|Rupes}}

References



- content above as imported from Wikipedia
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- time: 6:03am EDT - Sun, Sep 15 2019
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