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balanced sections A method for reconstructing graphically the original, pre-deformational geometry of folded (see FOLD) or thrust terrains from their present appearance. Balanced sections allow the amount of regional shortening to be measured and the sequence of thrusting to be deduced. Sections are usually made parallel to the main axis of compression and originate from a reference line within undeformed strata. Three principal methods are used to balance different properties: line-length balancing; areal balancing; and strain balancing.