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What is the san Andreas Fault?

The mountain Andreas fault is the slide boundary between the Pacific Plate and the north American Plate. The slices California in 2 from Cape Mendocino come the mexico border. San Diego, Los Angeles and large Sur room on the Pacific Plate. San Francisco, Sacramento and also the Sierra Nevada space on the north American Plate. And despite san Francisco’s legendary 1906 earthquake, the san Andreas error does no go through the city. But communities favor Desert hot Springs, mountain Bernardino, Wrightwood, Palmdale, Gorman, Frazier Park, Daly City, allude Reyes Station and also Bodega only lie squarely on the fault and are sit ducks.

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What kind of fault is the mountain Andreas?

The san Andreas error is a transform fault. Imagine placing 2 slices that pizza ~ above the table and also sliding them previous one an additional where lock touch along a typical straight edge. Bits the pepperoni indigenous one side crumble throughout the border onto the anchovy side. The very same thing happens with the fault, and the lasignoralaura.com and landforms follow me the mighty rift are exceptionally complicated.


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How quick Does the Move?

The bowl are slowly moving previous one an additional at a pair of inch a year - around the same price that her fingernails grow. But this is no a steady motion, the is the median motion. Because that years the plates will be locked through no activity at all together they push against one another. Suddenly the built-up strain division the rock follow me the fault, and also the plates on slide a couple of feet all at once. The break rock sends out out waves in every directions, and also it is the waves that us feel together earthquakes.


Is the error Visible at the Surface?

In many places prefer the Carrizo level (San luis Obispo County) and the Olema Trough (Marin County), the error is straightforward to check out as a collection of scarps and also pressure ridges. In various other places, that is more subtle due to the fact that the error hasn’t moved in many years and is spanned with alluvium, or overgrown v brush. In mountain Bernardino and Los Angeles Counties, countless of the roadways along the fault reduced through great mountains that gouge, the powdery, crumbled absent that has been pulverized through the moving plates.

The hallmark the the san Andreas error is the various rocks on either side of it. Being around 28 million years old, rocks from good distances have been juxtaposed versus rocks from an extremely different locations and also origins. The Salinian block of granite in central and north California source in southerly California, and also some even say north Mexico. Pinnacles nationwide Monument in Monterey ar is only fifty percent of a volcano complex, the other component being 200 miles southeast in Los Angeles County and also known together the Neenach Volcanics.


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Fault Myths

There are numerous myths and also legends around the mountain Andreas Fault, the greatest being the it will one day crack and also California will slide into the sea. WRONG! It i will not ~ happen and also it can’t happen. Nor is there any type of thing such as “earthquake weather” or wanted times the day once earthquakes hit.


The World"s Most well known Fault

The san Andreas error is more accessible than any other error in the world. V California’s big population and temperate climate, over there are many roads that snake along the fault. They are uncrowded and peaceful, perfect for family members outings. Over there is abundant camping, bird watching, wild flowers and also wildlife, rock collecting and natural beauty follow me the way. State and also National parks space strung follow me the fault prefer beads ~ above a string. All it takes is a great map, a comfortable car and also a desire to check out the world most famed fault.


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About the Author

David K. Lynch, PhD, is an astronomer and planetary scientist living in Topanga, CA. When not hanging approximately the fault or making use of the big telescopes ~ above Mauna Kea, the plays fiddle, collects rattlesnakes, offers public lectures ~ above rainbows and writes publications (Color and Light in Nature, Cambridge college Press) and also essays. Dr. Lynch"s latest book is the field Guide to the san Andreas Fault. The publication contains twelve one-day control trips along various parts that the fault, and includes mile-by-mile roadway logs and GPS works with for numerous fault features. Together it happens, Dave"s home was ruined in 1994 by the magnitude 6.7 Northridge earthquake.


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