Lesson 12: San Andreas Fault and Other Transform Boundaries

This week's lesson is our last to focus on parklands that have been shaped by geologic activity along a plate boundary. In this case, we'll consider transform (shear) boundaries where one plate is sliding laterally past another. One of the best known transform boundaries on a continent is California's San Andreas Fault, and we'll explore how offset on this structure is reflected in landscapes that stretch along almost the entire length of the state. Also, because the fault runs through or near several major metropolitan areas, we'll look at how geologists assess seismic hazards in our weekly exercise.

As you read through this chapter and the supporting websites please take careful notes so that you can keep track of major points and recall them more easily when we refer to them later in the semester. Be sure that you are prepared to meet the learning objectives outlined below before you move on to the quiz at the bottom of the page.

Weekly Learning Objectives

Upon successful completion of this week's lesson, a student is expected to be able to:

Reading and Browsing Assignment

Exercise 12 (Due by 9:00 AM on Monday, 12-Apr-2010)

To learn a bit about how geologists assess the hazards posed by earthquakes that occur along transform faults and other plate boundaries please load your Hazard City CD and work through version 3 of the Earthquake Hazard Assessment exercise. This is a fairly involved project, so allow at least an hour to complete it. Be sure to jot down any notes on data and procedure as you work through the exercise. Printing the form provided, filling it in, and then adding notes on how you arrived at your answers may be helpful. Be sure to have your final results in hand before you go to the Etudes "Assignments, Tasks and Tests" tool to complete Exercise 12.

Quiz 12 (Due by 9:00 AM on Monday, 12-Apr-2010)

After you feel you have mastered the learning outcomes outlined above, please complete Quiz 12 in the Etudes "Assignments, Tasks and Tests" tool. There are ten questions, each worth one point. If you can answer all of them correctly it means that you know your way around transform faults pretty well and are ready to move on to learn about parklands formed at oceanic hotspots next week.