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[foo t-wawl] /ˈfʊtˌwɔl/
Mining. the top of the rock stratum underlying a vein or bed of ore.
Compare hanging wall (def 1).
Geology. a mass of rock lying beneath a fault plane.
Origin of footwall
1640-50; foot + wall Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for footwall
Historical Examples
  • The ratio of ore area to total explored area, measured in the plane of the footwall, was 21-½ per cent.

  • The total area of ore measured on the footwall was 785 acres.

  • To these timbers are fixed small timbers along the footwall, to which are fastened the lagging and ladders.

    De Re Metallica Georgius Agricola
  • But the hardest rock of the hanging or footwall, however, is seldom as hard as the harder class of ore.

    De Re Metallica Georgius Agricola
  • Stringers are given the same characteristics as veins, but divided into hanging, footwall, and other varieties.

    De Re Metallica Georgius Agricola
British Dictionary definitions for footwall


the rocks on the lower side of an inclined fault plane or mineral vein Compare hanging wall
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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footwall in Science
The block of rock lying under an inclined geologic fault plane. See more at fault. Compare hanging wall.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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