Deformed Sedimentary Layers

November 03, 2015


Photographer: Nel Graham
Summary AuthorNel GrahamNovember 2015 Viewer's Choice

Shown above are exposed sedimentary layers that have been drastically deformed by movement on the San Andreas Fault. The location here is a freeway road-cut on SR-14, just north of the Avenue S off-ramp in Palmdale, California -- the camera is looking east. The San Andreas Fault is an approximately 700 mi (1,127 km) stretch of the boundary between the Pacific Plate and the North American Plate. It's a right lateral transform fault (one of the longest in the world) and has played an important role in the geologic, as well as the human history of California. Contrary to popular myth, if a mega-quake occurs along the San Andreas Fault the western edge of California, the portion of California actually on the Pacific Plate, wouldn't fall into the ocean but would simply slide northward. Photo taken in spring of 2010.