How Many Fault lines Are There Around the World?


For years we have been asking; How many fault lines exist on Earth?

fault lines in the world
fault lines in the world (click here for original source image)

Scientists who study the Earth’s geological history have repeatedly produced charts and maps purporting to show where fault lines are or were. For most of us it’s easy to see why they would produce such intricate and detailed pictures if there were fault lines in the Earth’s crust. We recognize that if there are any fault lines, then rivers and streams must flow through them, since they form underwater mountains. It’s easy to understand.

But a new theory by a team of California-based scientists raises a question about the validity of this long-standing map of fault lines. The latest theory is that not all fault lines are created equal. While most fault lines are horizontal, some are slanted, and some are vertically. A third type of faulting may even exist “up and down,” meaning that the faults could be clearly be located in different places. Even above and below the surface of the Earth.

This raises the question: just where are the fault lines?