1. n. [Geology]
A type of fault in which the hanging wall moves down relative to the footwall, and the fault surface dips steeply, commonly from 50° to 90°. Groups of normal faults can produce horst and graben topography, or a series of relatively high- and low-standing fault blocks, as seen in areas where the crust is rifting or being pulled apart by plate tectonic activity. A growth fault is a type of normal fault that forms during sedimentation and typically has thicker strata on the downthrown hanging wall than the footwall.
See: antithetic fault, crust, fault, growth fault, inversion, plate tectonics, rift, sedimentation, stratum, synthetic fault