# What would cause a deep vertical gorge in a mountainside, on Earth?

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?

• @AlexP: it's rare that this gets said but: your comment would be better suited as an answer. – Joe Bloggs Aug 28 '17 at 17:03
• @JoeBloggs: All right, made an answer, including a picture. – AlexP Aug 28 '17 at 17:24
• 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. – Frostfyre Aug 28 '17 at 17:56
• But, it was perfect. :-) Surely that's worth something. – 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".