Definition of downthrow in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈdounTHrō/

verb (past downthrew; past participle downthrown)

[with object]
Displace (a rock formation) downward.
Example sentences
  • The overall effect at the present level of exhumation is shown diagrammatically in Figure 2c. Along many of the major faults, older rocks at late diagenetic grade are downthrown against younger rocks at higher grades.
  • An exception is the Waikato Fault, which is downthrown to the north.
  • The contact between the Tertiary sedimentary sequence and the Samail ophiolite on the Batinah coastal plain is in many places a WNW-striking normal fault, downthrown toward the Gulf of Oman.


A downward displacement of rock strata.
Example sentences
  • The close proximity of the Isle of Wight-Purbeck fault zone probably also had an effect on Wealden sedimentation in the Wcssex Basin, as the downthrow on these faults decreases to the west.
  • We use these values to estimate the maximum downthrow of the Skinos fault as 1.12 km from basic trigonometry.
  • The exploration geologist or geophysicist searching for these resources would be able to estimate that greater reserves would be preserved on the downthrow side of the fault, in contrast to its upthrow side.

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: down·throw

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