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San Andreas fault

San Andreas fault

E365/0071

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Credit

BERNHARD EDMAIER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY BERNHARD EDMAIER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

San Andreas fault. Aerial photograph of the San Andreas fault crossing the Carrizo Plain of California, USA. The San Andreas fault is one of the world's great seismic faults. It is marked by the valley-like depression running from bottom left to upper right. The San Andreas fault extends almost the full length of California and is responsible for major earthquakes. It marks the boundary between the Pacific and North American tectonic plates. The slow lateral movement of these plates in opposite directions leads to the build up of stress, which is released during an earthquake. The stress also leads to the formation of pressure ridges, in the surrounding landscape.

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