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ConcepTest: Fault Displacement

ConcepTest questions by David McConnell, David Steer , Walter Borowski, Jeffrey Dick, Annabelle Foos, Jeffrey Knott, Alvin Konigsberg, Michelle Malone, Heidi McGrew, Kathie Owens, and Stephen Van Horn


What is the relative displacement of the fault that offsets the road in the photo?

An inconvenient fault a. left lateral
b. right lateral
c. normal
d. reverse

Student Responses:

The correct response is B.
Percentage of students choosing this answer. (% Before Discussion/% After Discussion):

a. left lateral (26%/0%)
b. right lateral (56%/96%)
c. normal (11%/0%)
d. reverse (7%/4%)

in a small (< 60 students) environmental geology class

If you would like to help acquire more Before and After statistics for this example, please contact the authors (see link at top of page).

References and Notes:


Geoscience:Geology:Structural Geology

Resource Type

Activities:Classroom Activity:Short Activity:ConcepTests

Grade Level

College Lower (13-14):Introductory Level

Ready for Use

Ready to Use

Earth System Topics

Solid Earth:Earthquakes, Deformation


Structural Geology


Teach the Earth:Teaching Environments:Intro Geoscience, Teach the Earth:Course Topics:Structural Geology