San Andreas fault, aerial view

San Andreas fault, aerial view

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This image is part of the feature Top 50 Science

Credit: DAVID PARKER/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Aerial photograph of the San Andreas fault as it crosses the Carrizo Plain some 450km (300 miles) south of San Francisco & 160km (100 miles) north of Los Angeles. One of the world's great seismic faults, the San Andreas extends almost the full length of California & is responsible for major earthquakes. It is seen here as the narrow, valley-like scar running from bottom right to top centre of the picture. The desolate landscape consists of pressure ridges formed as a result of hundreds of fault movements. The Carrizo Plain is at right, the elevated Elkhorn Scarp at left. This is the place where the San Andreas fault is at its most spectacular.

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Keywords: carrizo plain, earthquake, geology, san andreas fault, seismic fault, seismology

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