Limestone Syncline

August 25, 2004


Provided by: Jose De Armas
Summary authors & editors: Jose De Armas; Martin Ruzek

Under the compressional forces of mountain building, rock itself bends, deforming once horizontal strata into severely folded structures. A U-shaped fold is called a syncline, pictured here in the Cretaceus limestone of the Apón Formation, Sierra de Perijá, Venezuela, forming the north-south boundary between Colombia and Venezuela. By measuring the trend of such folds, geologists can infer the direction of ancient plate motions which formed the mountains.

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