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Pull apart basin

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Title: Pull apart basin  
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Subject: Depression (geology)
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Pull apart basin

A pull apart basin or strike-slip basin or rhombochasm is type of structural basin which is developed between two offset segments or at a flexure in a strike-slip fault or a transform fault. A pull-apart develops where the sense of offset leads to extension, either at a right-stepping offset on a dextral sense fault or a left-stepping offset on a sinistral fault. This geometry means that fault displacement will literally pull a section of crust apart and cause the extension. The Dead Sea and the Salton Sea depressions are pull apart basins.[1] The Cayman Trough in the northern Caribbean is an example of an elongated pull apart basin which has developed a spreading ridge in the center.[2]

The Gulf of Paria, in the Caribbean is also an example of a pull apart basin. This is due to the movement of the faults named El Pilar to the west and Central Ridge Fault to the east.


  • Gurbuz, A., 2010, Geometric characteristics of pull-apart basins, Lithosphere, v. 2, p. 199-206 10.1130/L36.1

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