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Tomography of the Lithosphere in Southern California - Assignment Example

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In this paper “Tomography of the Lithosphere in Southern California” the author briefly outlined the peculiarities of the lithosphere in Southern California, mentioned some facts from the historic development and lithospheric changes in Southern California…
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Tomography of the Lithosphere in Southern California
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Download file to see previous pages The geologic structure of Southern California is closely tied to the convergent boundary between two lithospheric plates.
In fact, Southern California spreads out on the boundary between two pieces of the lithosphere, the North America Plate and the Pacific Plate. The generally northward movement of the Pacific Plate against the North America Plate along the San Andreas Fault is the main cause of all earthquakes happening in the region /Hauksson, 1989/. Besides, the tectonic collision between these two plates causes large masses of rock to break, bend, and travel according to the immense forces.
The boundary between these two converging plates is the San Andreas Fault Zone is approximately one hundred kilometers wide and has shifted its location several times since the beginning of this transform plate boundary 25-30 million years ago.
The rugged topography of southern California is proof of the long-term tectonic activity associated with movement along the San Andreas Fault Zone. As the plate margins come into collision, broken blocks between faults are squeezed up or down, producing steep mountains and intermediary basins. This supplies scientists with valuable shreds of evidence of geologic history, revealing past environments and the geologic activity of ancient Southern California.
Let’s briefly investigate the development of the contemporary lithosphere in Southern California. Prior to tectonic plate convergence, the boundary between plates along the western edge of North America was quite different. A seafloor expansion center was located off the coast; due to this massive seafloor fracture magma formed oceanic lithosphere when tectonic plates move apart. One of the plates that appeared at the spreading ridge was the Pacific Plate, which moved westward; the other was the Farallon Plate which moved eastward beneath the intruding North American Plate in a process called subduction. The Farallon Plate was further split into the Cocos. ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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