Transform Plate Boundaries And Transform Faults

In many places in the oceanic basins, the mid-ocean ridges are apparently offset along great escarpments or faults, which fragment the oceanic crust into many different segments. in 1965 J. Tuzo Wilson correctly interpreted these not as offsets, but as a new class of faults, known as transform faults. The actual sense of displacement on these faults is opposite to the apparent offset, so the offset is apparent, not real. The solution to the real vs. apparent offsets along the transform faults is a primary feature of Wilson's model, proven correct by earthquake studies.

These transform faults are steps in the plate boundary where one plate is sliding past the other plate. Transform faults are also found on some continents, with the most famous examples being the san Andreas fault, the Dead sea Transform, the North Anatolian fault, and the Alpine fault of New Zealand. All of these are large strike-slip faults with horizontal displacements and separate two different plates.

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