In structural geology, a syncline is a fold with younger layers closer to the center of the structure, whereas an anticline is the inverse of a syncline. A synclinorium (plural synclinoriums or synclinoria) is a large syncline with superimposed smaller folds. Synclines are typically a downward fold (synform), termed a synformal syncline (i.e. a trough), but synclines that point upwards can be found when strata have been overturned and folded (an antiformal syncline).
On a geologic map, synclines are recognized as a sequence of rock layers, with the youngest at the fold's center or hinge and with a reverse sequence of the same rock layers on the opposite side of the hinge. If the fold pattern is circular or elongate, the structure is a basin. Folds typically form during crustal deformation as the result of compression that accompanies orogenic mountain building.
Syncline exposed in Sideling Hill roadcut
Road cut near Fort Davis, Texas showing a syncline
Syncline in the lower parking lot of Calico Ghost Town; the ductile folding is at the base and the brittle is above.
Satellite view of part of New Zealand's Southland Syncline, showing parallel folds running northwest-southeast