The San Andreas Science in Action

"A great earthquake shook the mountains, ripping
a deep gash through the rock formations..."

-- Spanish travelers describing the 1857 earthquake in the Carrizo Plain;
from "The Legend of Los Temblores," in
Cuentos, by Angus MacLean
(Pioneer Publishing Co., Fresno, 1979, pp. 45-46).


If you were standing here in 1857, just after the last earthquake, you would have witnessed a large tear stretching across the land, as far as your eye could see.  A casual observer today might conclude that erosion has covered up signs of the fault that broke with such great force -- but the fact is, anyone can see it -- and so can you!

How can you tell there is a fault here?  Walk along the trail, read this guide and look at the unusual landforms and geological features.  Figure out, just as a geologist would do, what happened in the Earth's past that formed the land you see now.


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