A tectonic block is a part of the Earth's crust that can be treated as a solid rigid crustal block or lithospheric section. A tectonic block may be bounded by faults. It may move from one place to another because of a tectonic shift, and they may also be rotated. A tectonic block may have a proper name for example, the Muness Phyllite Block (which is located in Unst and Uyea in Scotland),[1] or the South China Block.[2]

Early use of the term tectonic block referred to the blocks of rock on either side of a fault.[3]

Continental regions may be subdivided into tectonic blocks which are mapped in order to determine earthquake risk.[4]


  1. ^ Flinn, D. (1 May 2009). "A Tectonic Analysis of the Muness Phyllite Block of Unst and Uyea, Shetland". Geological Magazine. 89 (04): 263. doi:10.1017/S0016756800067741.
  2. ^ Faure, Michel; Lepvrier, Claude; Nguyen, Vuong Van; Vu, Tich Van; Lin, Wei; Chen, Zechao (January 2014). "The South China block-Indochina collision: Where, when, and how?". Journal of Asian Earth Sciences. 79: 260–274. doi:10.1016/j.jseaes.2013.09.022.
  3. ^ Gilbert, G. K. (1909). "Earthquake Forecasts". Science. 29 (734): 121–138. doi:10.1126/science.29.734.121. JSTOR 1635153.
  4. ^ McCaffrey, R.; Bird, P.; Bormann, J.; Haller, K.M.; Hammond, W.C.; Thatcher, W.; Wells, R.E.; Zeng, Y. "Appendix A—NSHMP Block Model of Western United States Active Tectonics" (PDF). pp. 27–47.