Main Menu

11. California Earthquakes and Plate Boundaries

Expedition Menu

1. Introduction

2. Global Distribution

3.  Earthquakes & Plate Boundaries

4. The Ring of Fire

5. Convergent Boundaries

6. Atlantic Ocean

7. Atlantic Ocean II

8. Alaska Earthquake

9. Vertical Slice

10. 3-D Look

11. California Plate Boundaries

12. Are You Prepared?

13. Mendocino Triple Junction

14. Could It Happen Here?


Plate boundary map along California

Here we are.....back home in California.

You can see the distribution of earthquakes, many of which lie along the San Andreas fault system, which is part of the transform plate boundary between the Pacific and North American plates along much, but not all, of California. 

Notice the locations of the 1989 Loma Prieta, 1992 Mendocino and 1994 Northridge earthquakes...which resulted in the tragic loss of many lives (nearly 100 in all) and tens of billions of $$$ in damage. 

After you answer the question below, you will learn about the region outlined in red in the map in the upper left corner, which is NOT a transform plate boundary -- this region has more earthquakes than any other place in the U.S.  -- the Cape Mendocino region of northern California.

Contact Don Reed
Dept. of Geology
San José State University
©Copyright 1999
Last Updated on June 21, 1999
  What type of plate boundary lies along much of California (except north of Cape Mendocino - area in red box in map)?

a) divergent
b) transform
c) convergent