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This article refers to the geological form. For other uses, see Horst.


In physical geography and geology, a horst is the raised fault block bounded by normal fault or graben. A horst is formed from extension of the Earth's crust. The raised block is a portion of the crust that generally remains stationary or is uplifted while the land has dropped on either side.

The Vosges Mountainsmarker in France and Black Forestmarker in Germany are examples of horsts, the Table, Jura and the Dôle mountains are results of the latter. The word is also applied to those larger areas, such as the Russianmarker plain, Arabia, Indiamarker and Central South Africa, where the continent remains stable, with horizontal table-land stratification, in distinction to folded regions such as the Eurasian chains.

Horsts and hydrocarbon exploration

In many rift basins around the world, the vast majority of discovered hydrocarbons are found in conventional traps associated with horsts. For example, much of the petroleum found in the Sirte Basin in Libya (of the order of tens of billions of barrels of reserves) are found on large horst blocks such as the Zelten Platform and the Dahra Platform and on smaller horsts such as the Gialo High and the Bu-Attifel Ridge.

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