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This animation shows the movement and deformation of the western United States over the past 36 million years. Here two tectonic plates, the North American plate and the Pacific plate, meet at the San Andreas fault. The two plates slide by each other, the Pacific Plate moving northwest, carrying along Los Angeles and San Francisco.

Labeled animation               Detailed description

Tectonics Observatory :: California Institute of Technology
Last updated: September 25, 2009 :: Contact Us