I'd like earthquakes to cause deep gullies along some mountainsides of my planet. Here on earth, vertical fault scarps can form from earthquakes, but the examples I see online tend to be less gully - like and more sheer face like.

I need gullies. I do not want water to form these gullies. But, I am not certain earthquakes would be realistic.

The tectonics do not need to work the same on my planet, as on Earth, but I would like the idea to be grounded in reality.

Can seismic forces cause a series of regularly occurring large vertical gorge features on mountainsides? Like 100 feet across and forty feet deep; the length of the mountain. Something you would not want to accidentally fall into.

Would rifting be a better geological explanation?

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    $\begingroup$ @AlexP: it's rare that this gets said but: your comment would be better suited as an answer. $\endgroup$ – Joe Bloggs Aug 28 '17 at 17:03
  • $\begingroup$ @JoeBloggs: All right, made an answer, including a picture. $\endgroup$ – AlexP Aug 28 '17 at 17:24
  • $\begingroup$ Welcome to the site, DPT. Please note that we generally encourage users to hold off on accepting an answer for a while. The site has users located all around the world, and accepting an answer may discourage other users from potentially providing a better answer. $\endgroup$ – Frostfyre Aug 28 '17 at 17:56
  • $\begingroup$ But, it was perfect. :-) Surely that's worth something. $\endgroup$ – DPT Aug 28 '17 at 18:11

The technical term for what you are looking for is a graben /ˈgrɑːbən/; there are many examples of Wikipedia. A good match for the kind of landscape sought in the question may be the Basin and Range Province covering "much of the inland Western United States and northwestern Mexico" (Wikipedia); *"it is defined by unique basin and range topography, characterized by abrupt changes in elevation, alternating between narrow faulted mountain chains and flat arid valleys or basins".

Satellite photo of typical Basin and Range topography across central Nevada

[Satellite photo of typical Basin and Range topography across central Nevada. NASA; public domain. Available on Wikimedia.]

  • $\begingroup$ Yep. Better as an answer. +1 $\endgroup$ – Joe Bloggs Aug 28 '17 at 18:51

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