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See also: Graben


Diagram showing the relationship between horst, graben and fault
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Borrowing from German Graben ‎(ditch), from the verb graben ‎(to dig).


graben ‎(plural grabens or graben)

  1. (geology) An elongated block of the Earth's crust, bounded by faults, that has dropped relative to the surrounding area.
    • 1959, Robert G. Yates, George A. Thompson, Geology and Quicksilver Deposits of the Terlingua District, Texas, U. S. Geological Survey, Professional Paper 312, page 49,
      The magnitude and shape of the large grabens strongly suggest that, when they formed, material much more mobile than ordinary rocks was present at a depth no greater than a few miles.
    • 1969, V. V. Beloussov, Contintal Rifts, Pembroke J. Hart (editor), The Earth's Crust and Upper Mantle, page 539,
      This system includes the Syrian and Lebanese grabens; the grabens of the Dead Sea, Wadi al Arabah, Gulfs of Aqaba and Suez, Red Sea, and Gulf of Aden; and the Ethiopian graben.
    • 1997, Jean-Marie Rouchy, 2: Paleogene Continental Rift System of Western Europe, Georges Busson, B. Charlotte Schreiber (editors), Sedimentary Deposition in Rift and Foreland Basins in France and Spain (Paleogene and Lower Neogene), page 83,
      Migration of the subsidence axis has been revealed by the detailed sedimentological studies in most of these grabens, particularly in the Bresse basin (Curial 1986; Moretto 1986/1987) and in Manosque-Forcalquier.
    • 2015, C. F. Burgess, et al., Chapter 35: The Structural and Stratigraphic Evolution of Lake Tanganyika: A Case Study of Continental Rifting, W. Manspeizer (editor), Triassic-Jurassic Rifting: Continental Breakup and the Origin of the Atlantic Ocean and Passive Margins, Part A, page 866,
      These distinct zones of strike-slip or scissor faulting which separate adjacent half-grabens were termed interbasinal ridges and hinged highs by Rosendahl et al. (1986).


  • (portion of Earth's crust lowered relative to surroundings): horst

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From Old High German graban, from Proto-Germanic *grabaną, from Proto-Indo-European *gʰrābʰ- ‎(to dig, scratch, scrape).

Compare Serbo-Croatian grȍb and groblje ‎(grave), German Grab ‎(grave), Czech and Slovak hrob ‎(grave).


  • (file)
  • IPA(key): /ˈɡʁaːbən/, [ˈɡʁaːbm̩]


graben ‎(class 6 strong, third-person singular simple present gräbt, past tense grub, past participle gegraben, past subjunctive grübe, auxiliary haben)

  1. (transitive or intransitive) to dig
  2. (transitive, intransitive or reflexive, of an animal) to burrow


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  1. Second-person plural (ustedes) imperative form of grabar.
  2. Second-person plural (ustedes) present subjunctive form of grabar.
  3. Third-person plural (ellos, ellas, also used with ustedes?) present subjunctive form of grabar.