San Andreas fault, aerial photograph

San Andreas fault, aerial photograph

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Credit: CAROL M. HIGHSMITH ARCHIVE, LIBRARY OF CONGRESS/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: San Andreas fault. Aerial photograph of the San Andreas fault in California's Sierra Madre Mountains, midway between Bakersfield and Santa Barbara. The San Andreas fault is one of the world's great seismic faults, forming the boundary between the Pacific and North American tectonic plates. It is marked by the valley-like depression running from bottom right to top left. Pressure ridges line either side. These are formed by the stresses created by the opposing, lateral movements of the two tectonic plates. The San Andreas fault extends almost the full length of California (some 1300 kilometres) and is responsible for major earthquakes.

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