What is folding?

What Does folding Mean

The notion of folding is used in geology to name what happens in the planetary crust when a horizontal pressure affects the rocks . This causes a compression that creates ripples in the rocks, without breaking them. When rocks break, we do not speak of folding, but of failure .

Lateral pressure is typically exerted over millions of years on the edge of a tectonic plate. The crust thus rises in certain regions and, in turn, sinks in others. The folding becomes a failure when the elasticity of the rocks does not support the pressure and, therefore, the material breaks.

It is also important to know that every fold has clearly differentiated parts such as the following: the crest, the flanks, the axial plane, the fold axis, the valley, the pitch, the core, the direction or the hinge. The latter we can say that it is the area in which there is more curvature of the entire fold.
The characteristics of the folding or the eventual appearance of a fault, in this way, will be determined by the elasticity of the rocks and by their ability to adopt a new shape according to the magnitude of the force exerted. The folds are responsible for the creation of the mountain ranges that exist on our planet.
It is possible to recognize different types of fold within the framework of a fold. The monoclinals have a horizontal branch and a sloping branch; the anticlines , on the other hand, have two descending branches towards contiguous sinuses; the synclines are those shaped like a bowl; and lastly, the periclinal folds can have external or internal inclination.
However, although this is a general classification, we have to say that there are many other more specific classifications of the various types of folding. Specifically, these are examples:

-If symmetry is taken into account, they can be divided into two groups: symmetric and asymmetric.

-Based on their shape, they can be antiform, when the fold is convex upwards, or symmetrical, when it is convex downwards or concave upwards.

-Starting from the thickness of its layers, we find anisópaque folds, when that thickness of the layers is not uniform, or isopacos, when it is.

-If we start from what is the angle formed by the flanks, we would have to talk about three types: soft, isocline or tight.
The folds of a fold can be measured according to the height or the length of the wave . While some are almost imperceptible, others are many kilometers long.
We cannot forget that within the biological sphere the term folding is also used. In this case, we speak of what is known as protein folding, which defines the entire process by which a protein acquires its three-dimensional structure, key for it to perform the function it is entrusted with. When the opposite phase takes place, it is called protein denaturation.

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