Geological happenings of the Californian Coast

EVERYONE SHOULD BECOME A GEOLOGIST! California is the best place for Geology! AND YOU CAN LOOK AT PRETTY ROCKS This is an assignment for CMPE3, and not to be taken too seriously (but most information is correct.

Pre San Andreas Fault:

  • During Cenozoic times, there was a convergent boundary between the North American plate and the Farallon plate. The subduction of the Farallon plate created the coastal ranges.
  • Subduction of the Farallon plate happened most of the Cenozoic time period, the rapid subduction happened at a shallow and an oblique angle.
  • Everything was chill up until this point.

    Proto San Andreas Fault:

  • When the Pacific plate and the North American plate collided during the Paleocene, it caused great stresses in both our field area and the San Joaquin Valley.
  • The Pacific plate was moving northwest in comparison to the North American plate which created the right lateral motions of the San Andreas Fault
  • During the Miocene, the slip rate of the San Andreas Fault accelerated causing great deformation on the coast.

    Post San Andreas and Modern California Coast

  • San Andreas is due for "the big one" pretty soon. Geologist can estimate where the epicenter could be by looking where at places along the fault that havent slipped in a while.
  • Other splays of the San Andreas can be dangerous as well (Calaveras Fault (near my house in San Jose :D), Hayward, etc. etc.)
  • People be super afraid of Earthquakes, but when it happens it happens. PS: Bay Area is a great place to live still.

    Take Home Points

    1. Before San Andreas, there was subduction of the Farallon plate (which is now the Juan De Fuca Plate). Subduction ended when the Pacific Plate collided with the North American Plate.
    2. During the Proto San Andreas days, great deformation on the California coast happened coupled with the Medicino triple Junction going up the coast. (aka. if this didnt happen, we would be standing in Mexico right now).
    3. Accelerating rates of the San Andreas during Miocene deformed the coast even more.
    4. Don't worry about Earthquakes and live in the Bay Area where it is Fabulous.

    LASTLY! IF YOU ARE STUDYING THE SAN ANDREAS FAULT, ONE MUST WATCH THE TANYA ATWATER ANIMATIONS BECAUSE THEY ARE SO FREAKING COOL! (Actually everyone living in California should watch it). I'll make your life easier by linking it here

    If this page is ever found, this site should not be used for scholary purposes. This is an assignment for CMPE3, and not to be taken too seriously. :D (aka. this is not a published paper that you could cite :P)

    If you have any questions/comments/concerns about my references/sources or anything else please email me at: or search it yourself :p

    Hi Hilde! lol. Earth 109 <3. I poured so much effort into that class especially into writing the paper that my brain exploded with information and I had nightmares about the field for a week after turning it in >.<