In structural geology, a syncline is a fold with younger layers closer to the center of the structure. A synclinorium (plural synclinoriums or synclinoria) is a large syncline with superimposed smaller folds. Synclines are typically a downward fold, termed a synformal syncline (i.e. a trough); but synclines that point upwards, or perched, can be found when strata have been overturned and folded (an antiformal syncline).
On a geologic map, synclines are recognized by a sequence of rock layers that grow progressively younger, followed by the youngest layer at the fold's center or hinge, and by a reverse sequence of the same rock layers on the opposite side of the hinge. If the fold pattern is circular or elongate circular the structure is a basin. Folds typically form during crustal deformation as the result of compression that accompanies orogenic mountain building.
- Powder River Basin, Wyoming, U.S.A.
- Sideling Hill roadcut along Interstate 68 in western Maryland, USA, where the Rockwell Formation and overlying Purslane Sandstone are exposed.
- Western Lake Superior, which occupies a basin created by the Midcontinent Rift System
- Saou, a commune in the Drôme department in southeastern France
- The Catlins, an area in the southeastern corner of the South Island of New Zealand
Syncline exposed in Sideling Hill roadcut
Road cut near Fort Davis, Texas showing a syncline.
Syncline in the lower parking lot of Calico Ghost Town; note ductile folding at base, brittle above.
- Ridge-and-valley Appalachians — With good bird's eye photo of a range of the types
- Synclinorium. (2008). In Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved May 03, 2008, from Encyclopædia Britannica Online: http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/578375/synclinorium