The San Andreas fault is about to crack – here's what will happen when it does
Both plates are moving in an approximately northerly direction but the Pacific plate is moving faster than its North American counterpart. The Pacific Plate (western side of the fault) is moving horizontally in a northerly direction relative to the North American Plate (eastern side of the fault). Movement along the San Andreas can occur either in sudden jolts or in a slow, steady of which display different behavior: locked or creeping (see text). The Juan de Fuca Plate is a tectonic plate generated from the Juan de Fuca Ridge and is subducting under the northerly portion of the western side of the North American Plate at For the northern fragment, see Explorer Plate. These in turn are part of the Pacific Ring of Fire, a much larger-scale volcanic feature that.
Illustration prepared by the United States Geological Survey. Plate Boundaries The edges of Earth's lithospheric plates have boundaries which are both well defined and poorly defined. Well-defined boundaries include mid-ocean ridges and ocean trenches. These boundaries are usually well enough defined that they can be plotted on a map at a reasonably accurate location. Map showing the geographic location of major mid-ocean ridges.
South American Plate - Wikipedia
Map by the United States Geological Survey. Click for larger map. Mid-Ocean Ridges Mid-ocean ridges are divergent boundaries where convection currents in the mantle lift the ocean floor and produce a rift in the lithosphere that follows the crest of the ridge. New lithosphere is created by volcanic activity along the crest of the ridge, and the plates on either side of the ridge are moving away from one another.
The boundary between the North America Plate and the Eurasian Plate is an example of a divergent boundary at a mid-ocean ridge. All of the plate boundaries that occur down the center of the Atlantic Ocean are divergent boundaries that follow the crest of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge. Map showing the geographic location of major ocean trenches in the Pacific Ocean. Ocean Trenches Ocean trenches form where a plate with a leading edge of oceanic lithosphere collides with another plate.
In these situations, an oceanic plate normally subducts into the mantle, forming a topographic low on the ocean floor.
- Caribbean Plate
- Eurasian Plate
- Plate Tectonics Map - Plate Boundary Map
Why is this eminent seismologist making these alarming statements? Well, the fact is that there has not been a major release of stresses in the southern portion of the San Andreas fault system since In simple terms, the San Andreas is one of many fault systems roughly marking the border between the Pacific and North American tectonic plates.
South American Plate
Both plates are moving in an approximately northerly direction but the Pacific plate is moving faster than its North American counterpart, meaning that stresses between the plates are constantly building up. Insome of these stresses were catastrophically released in the San Francisco Bay area in a 7. So just how big could this potential earthquake be and is it possible that the destruction demonstrated in the film San Andreas could actually come to fruition?Why there's a ring of natural disasters around the Pacific
Fiction … or fact? In short, Californians will be reasonably pleased with the answers to these questions. In the film, the San Andreas fault produces an earthquake with a magnitude of 9. While not unheard of globally, earthquakes of this size are generally confined to regions of the earth where subduction — where one tectonic plate is being forced below another — is happening, for example in Chile and Japan.
The tectonic situation in California is different. Here, two plates are sliding past each other. As such, recent predictions limit the possible maximum earthquake magnitude along the San Andreas fault system to 8.
Juan de Fuca Plate - Wikipedia
While magnitudes of 7. Obviously, however, be it a 7. For example, the San Andreas fault is not beneath the ocean and as such, any slippage along it could not displace water to the extent that a tsunami would be generated.