What is the San Andreas Fault?


Quick Answer

According to SanAndreasFault.org, the San Andreas Fault is a commonly known fault partly because of the disastrous 1906 San Francisco earthquake. The site explains that it also passes through California, which is often in the news because of earthquakes that occur along this fault.

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What is the San Andreas Fault?
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Full Answer

The San Andreas Fault extends 810 miles through the state of California. The fault has three main sections; the northern, central and southern sections are divided into different categories and levels of earthquake risk.

Although the fault extends from northern to southern California, there are many sections of the fault that branch out into other areas. This creates a fault zone that can be up to several miles wide. The San Andreas Fault is 28 million years old, and at a slippage rate of 2.5 inches per year, it will take California roughly another 25 million years to change into a landmass that would be unrecognizable.

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