This datalayer is a polyline coverage representing earthquake faults worldwide. It was originally produced by ESRI and the USGS for the Global GIS database. This layer was originally derived from ESRI's ArcAtlas: Our Earth CD-ROM publication (1996). Attribute data includes information on the type of fault.
A fault, also known as a disjunctive dislocation, is a break in the continuity of a geological formation. Faults can be formed when the earth's crust is compressed or stretched. They vary greatly in size, both in length and depth. Faults are classified according to the type and direction of movement of the rocks on either side of the fault. For example, a fault along which no appreciable movement has occurred is called a joint. Faults with appreciable movement include vertical faults, thrust faults, transcurrent faults, and displacements.
ArcAtlas: Our Earth contains global geographic and attribute data at three scales (1:10,000,000 for Europe, 1:20,000,000 for North and South America, Africa and Antarctica 1:25,000,000 for Asia and Australia).
The USGS Global GIS database contains a wealth of USGS and other public domain data, including global coverages of elevation, landcover, seismicity, and resources of minerals and energy at a nominal scale of 1:1 million. The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and The American Geological Institute (AGI) announced a cooperative agreement that will focus on making the USGS Global Geographic Information System (GIS) database readily available to educators and the general public in the form of a DVD based world atlas.