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In structural geology, a syncline is a downward-curving fold, with layers that dip toward the center of the structure. A synclinorium is a large syncline with superimposed smaller folds.

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. A notable syncline is Wyoming's Powder River Basinmarker. Folds typically form during crustal deformation as the result of compression that accompanies orogenic mountain building.

A spectacular example of a perched syncline, the highest in Europe, is Saou, in the Alpine foothills of south-eastern France.


Image:Synclinal perche.jpg|Syncline, Torres del Paine National Parkmarker, Chilemarker.Image:Provo_Canyon_syncline.jpg|Snow-dusted syncline in Provo Canyonmarker, Utahmarker.Image:Syncline.JPG|Road cut near Fort Davis, Texasmarker showing a syncline.Image:syncline.gif|Graphic syncline depiction.Image:Rainbow_Basin.JPG|Rainbow Basinmarker Syncline near Barstow, Californiamarker.

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