California Earthquakes


“Landscape – California Fault line”

Audrey Peters, Writer

California sits atop two tectonic plates, The Pacific Plate and The North American Plate. Tectonic plates are pieces of Earth’s mantle, underneath where we are. These plates are always moving. The rate at which they move is actually about the same as the rate at which your fingernails grow, about 46 millimeters per year. 


When tectonic plates have a sudden slip past each other, the friction between the two plates causes a jolt that can be felt above the earth’s crust. 


Where the plates meet is called a fault line. The San Andreas Fault Line runs through most of California. This is why so many earthquakes occur there. 


Recently, the earthquakes have had larger magnitudes, causing more concern among residents in the affiliated areas. 


According to California Earthquake Authority, “Although most of California’s quakes are small in magnitude and cause little or no damage, California experiences more than 100 per day!” 


The United States Geological Survey (USGS) collects and monitors specific data from geological occurrences. Their website lists many of the earthquakes that happen around the world. The list, when showing California alone, shows 133 earthquakes between 1.0 magnitude and 4.0 magnitude.