- A scarp is a cliff or steep slope. The word is derived from the Italian scarpa, meaning 'shoe'.
- The surface of the steep slope is called a scarp face.
- A fault scarp is a steep cliff made by movement along one side of a fault.
- An escarpment is a steep slope or long cliff that occurs from faulting and resulting erosion. It separates two relatively level areas of different height.
- A cuesta is an asymmetric ridge with an escarpment on one side and a gentle dip slope on the other side.
Scarps are generally formed by one or both:
- differential erosion of sedimentary rocks, or by
- vertical movement of the Earth's crust along a geologic fault.
Most commonly, an escarpment is a transition from one series of sedimentary rocks to another series of a different age and composition.
Escarpments are also frequently formed by faults. When a fault displaces the ground surface so that one side is higher than the other, a fault scarp is created. This brings a piece of high ground next to an area of lower ground.
- Easterbrook, D. J. 1999. Surface processes and landforms. 2nd ed, Prentice Hall, New Jersey.
- Summary: Escarpments, US Army Corps of Engineers.
- scarp - Definition from the Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary