What Companies Make Maps That Include Fault Lines?


Quick Answer

Companies that make maps with fault lines are the United States Geological Survey, Maps of World and Rand McNally. The U.S. Geological Survey, Geology.com and Thule Scientific, as well as state entities such as the California Department of Conservation, produce online interactive maps that include fault lines.

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Full Answer

A basic fault line map of the world is divided into areas denoting the major continental and oceanic tectonic plates. These plates include the North American and South American plates, African Plate, Eurasian Plate, Indo-Australian Plate and Antarctic Plate, making up the world's continents. The major oceanic plates include the Pacific Plate, Philippine Plate, Fiji Plate, Nazca Plate and Cocos Plate. There are also maps that show many smaller fault lines. For example, the interactive USGS map shows many fault lines in California, including the well-known San Andreas fault zone.

Fault lines are cracks in the crust that are often caused by movement of the tectonic plates. As the plates move, they cause stress on the upper crust, resulting in these cracks. The stress creating the fault lines occurs due to compression, tension or shear stress. For instance, compression occurs when two plates hit each other head-on. Tensional stress occurs when two plates move away from each other. Shear stress is a result of the plates moving parallel to each other in opposite directions.

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