Joints Vs. Faults: Joints and Faults are collectively referred to as fractures or discontinuities. In simple words, these are spaces or gaps that form in the rock formations formed by various factors on the earth’s surface. But the similarity between the joints and faults ends here because each of them has different characteristics that distinguish them from each other. The joints are smaller than the faults and can occur in almost all rock formations. These are often capillary cracks, which are particularly imperceptible from a distance. On the other hand, faults are much larger and can extend for miles. However, due to the constant formation of dust on the Earth’s crust, it is not always possible to detect the fault lines, but scientists are pretty sure they exist, and what actually happened when the earth’s crust moves? There are many differences between joints and fault listed below.
So What is the Difference Between A Joint And A Fault?
1. The joints are formed when a rock is stretched to its breaking point, while the fault results from the constant movement under the earth’s crust
The expansion of the rock to its predetermined breaking point for the formation of joints is due to the fact that the continuous accumulation of dirt on the rock formations and its mass increases and this is forced to break. But the faults are caused by the constant movement under the earth’s crust when the rock formations are divided by faults, they become vulnerable to earthquakes.
2. Joints do not pose such a threat, while faults are considered to be one of nature’s strongest motors that can cause earthquakes and tsunamis
The joints are fragile surface fractures in the rock with little or no movement. Which means that the opposite sides of the fracture are stagnant. Almost all surface rocks have joints, although they are often invisible in unaltered rocks. Rocks generally form seals when erosion and buoyancy reduce the pressure load by removing overlying rocks. As a result, the rock can expand laterally and it comes to fractures. The fault, however, is discontinuities in the rock resulting from the movement of the earth. Geologists usually refer to fault zones, which are complex deformations made up of numerous fractures. Faults occur when friction and cold do not allow the stones to overlap. The accumulated voltage eventually exceeds the voltage threshold. The stress releases the potential energy accumulated in the fault. Defects in ductile rocks can be solved immediately if the rate of deformation is high, resulting in a process that generates earthquakes.
3. The joints have very little movement, including none, while the fault is different because they are likely to move laterally
The joints have very little freedom of movement if any since they do not completely separate the rock formations. But the fault is subject to lateral movements caused by tectonic forces under the earth’s surface. This is because they appear as deep cuts between large rock formations. Depending on the direction of the tectonic motion, one or both sides of a fault may move up, down, and sideways, which is often the cause of earthquakes.
4. The joints are smaller in size while the fault is a relatively larger size
The joints are smaller than the faults and can occur in almost all rock formations. These are often capillary cracks, which are particularly imperceptible from a distance. On the other hand, the fault is much larger and can extend for miles.