This is the process that involves the bending of rocks on the earth’s surface as a result of either compression forces or due to the movement of tectonic plates towards the same direction.

Folding occurs when the rocks are strained and are subjected to stress forcing them to bend rather than breaking.

Folding occurs under the influence of pressure applied to the rock strata whose origin is as a result of geochemical reactions and radio activity within the earth’s interior which generates hot temperatures of over 4000°c.

The hot temperatures led to the melting of the rocks of the mantle which gave rise to the development of convective currents which either converge or diverge resulting into compression forces or tensional forces.

The compression forces affect the rocks of the earth’s crust exerting pressure on them which leads to their bending resulting into folding.

Folding is a gradual process and it takes place slowly over thousands of years where the rocks subjected to pressure bend without breaking.

When one area is folded, the rocks either bend upwards or down wards. A down ward folded area is known as a snycline or a trough that opens upwards while an up fold is called an anticline and it faces down wards.

The most significant geomorphic result of folding is the formation of fold mountains. Fold mountains are formed when sediments are laid down in depressions on the seafloor . This depression is called a geosyncline. Folding therefore takes place when compression forces act on young sedimentary rocks and the impact of compression forces on these rocks forces them to rise. Sedimentary rocks may rise until they reach high levels of elevation to form highlands known as fold mountains.

This process explains the formation of a number of fold mountains in the world such as the Atlas mountains in Morocco, Alps in Switzerland etc.


In East Africa, folding has not been a major land form evolution process however, it has affected places of Ankole and Buganda in Uganda. In Kenya, folding occured in the Nyanza province while in Tanzania, folding occured in the regoins of Bukoba and Dodoma.