California Eathquakes

Topics: San Andreas Fault, Plate tectonics, California Pages: 2 (348 words) Published: September 8, 2013
California copyright prevented.

California is the 3rd largest state USA with the highest population of over 35 million. It is situated on the western coast bordered by three other states. Some of the world’s best known and biggest cities are located in California for example Los Angeles and San Francisco, making it the wealthiest state of the US.

California lies on a conservative plate boundary where the Pacific plate and the North American plate are the components. There are separated by a transform fault, known as the San Andreas Fault. The Pacific plate is moving north comparative to the North American plate however the fault is not smooth and so friction between the plates occur causing plates to lock. The continued pressure created by the movement of the plates around these locked portions of the fault causes the crust in these areas to denature, building up in elastic potential energy. When the stress builds it ruptures causing a sudden movement and allows the locked portions of the plates to jolt back into their correct positions. This movement causes the very sudden release of the stored energy as seismic waves which cause earthquakes.

This causes over 100 spots which are known as faults which produce hazardous earthquakes throughout California, the most active being San Jacinto fault responsible for constant activity throughout history, as have the San Andreas fault, where earthquakes with the magnitude of 6 or above happen every 20-30, the most recent being in 2004. The largest recorded earthquake in California was the 1857 Fort Tejon earthquake, with an estimated magnitude of 8.0. This earthquake ruptured 225 miles of the San Andreas Fault. However this was not the most destructive, in 1906 a earthquake reading 7.9 on the Richter scale in San Francisco.

Loma Prieta
The Loma Prieta earthquake on the 17th October, 1989 has been one of the most recognised due to the amount of people effected, and economic loss.68 people were...
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