Los Angeles Is Moving To San Francisco

Really! The San Andreas fault, which runs roughly north-south, is slipping, causing Los Angeles on the Pacific tectonic plate to move towards San Francisco, stuck on the North American plate, at about the same rate as your fingernails grow. In about 15 million years LA will be the home of the Golden Gate Bridge.

Projections indicate that the Gulf of California will expand while Baja California and the California coast (including San Diego and Los Angeles) will continue northwestward toward the Aleutian Trench. As the area slides past San Francisco, it will become an island.

A study by Yuri Fialko, an associate professor at the Scripps Institute near San Diego, shows that the San Andreas fault has been stressed to a level sufficient for the next "big one", an earthquake of magnitude 7.0 or greater. It could be tomorrow or it could be 10 years or more from now. Click the image below to see a computer generated model of how it might happen.

Fialko calculated the rate at which the fault is moving and found that it's accumulated approximately six to eight meters of slip "deficit," which eventually will be released as earthquakes. If all the deficit is released in a single event, it would result in a magnitude eight earthquake, roughly the size of the 1906 earthquake that destroyed much of San Francisco.



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