Anonymous
Anonymous asked in Science & MathematicsEarth Sciences & Geology · 1 decade ago

Why do so many earthquakes occur in california?

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  • 1 decade ago
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    California lies on the boundary between the Pacific and North American plates and they are sliding relative to one another, that is the cause of the earthquakes. The boundary is actually a bit diffuse, so that sometimes an earthquake occurs on one fault, and sometimes on another, sort of like sliding between cards in a deck. In fact, although the San Andreas Fault is the primary boundary between the plates, some parts of it are "locked" and don't move, except in very large earthquakes. Nevertheless there are lots of earthquakes on other faults in California too, like the San Jacinto Fault, Elsinore Fault, Whittier Fault, Newport-Inglewood Fault, etc., so there is no shortage of faults to have earthquakes on.

  • Anonymous
    5 years ago

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    Earthquakes occur daily in California, but as others have stated, most are so minor that they aren't felt. Many seem to occur in remote areas of the state where few people live, or deep within the earth. So unless you are right on top of the epicenter, and if they are less than roughly 3.5 on the Richter scale you don't notice them. The really strong ones are rare, but do happen from time to time. I've lived in the Los Angeles area over 40 years, and can only remember 3 really strong, destructive "quakes", one in Long Beach, one in Whittier, and one in Northridge. What is an earthquake like? Two or three seconds before it "hits" you will hear a roaring, rumbling sound. Than there will be one sharp initial jolt, followed quickly by a rocking, rolling motion that will increase then decrease, and then its over. The whole thing is over within about 20 - 30 seconds. Compare that to being in a hurricane where you have to endure hours and hours of violent wind and rain, I'll take an earthquake any day.

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    5 years ago

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  • 1 decade ago

    Because it is close to the San Andres fault.

    Two plates are sliding against each other in opposite directions. This is called a Transversial fault.

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  • 1 decade ago

    the tectonic plates under the surface of the earth have fault lines ie lines where they r joined to each other..one such fault line passes through california..the tectonic plates keep moving which causes shift and thus u get earthquakes

  • 1 decade ago

    because it is on a fault zone where to tectonic plates are grinding past one another and the friction that builds up creates earthquakes. ***

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    because we are right on a fault line

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    cos it lies on a fault line

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