A structural basin is a large-scale structural formation of rock strata formed by tectonic warping of previously flat-lying strata. They are geological depressions, the inverse of domes. Elongated structural basins are also known as synclines. Some are sedimentary basins, aggregations of sediment that filled up a depression or accumulated in an area. Others were formed by tectonic events long after the sedimentary layers were deposited.
Basins may appear on a geologic map as roughly circular or elliptical, with concentric layers. Because the strata dip toward the center, the exposed strata in a basin are progressively younger from the outside in, with the youngest rocks in the center. Basins are often large in areal extent, often hundreds of kilometers across.