What's a Transform Plate Boundary? Transform Plate Boundaries are locations where two plates slide past each other. The fracture zone that forms a transform plate boundary is known as a transform fault. The San Andreas Fault is a boundary between the Pacific and North American tectonic plates. The plates are slowly moving past one another at a couple of inches a year. However this is not a steady motion, it is the average motion. The plates will be locked with no movement at all as they push against one another, then the built-up strain breaks the rock along the fault and the plates slip a few feet all at once. The breaking rock sends out waves in all directions and it is the waves that we feel as earthquakes.
Transform Faults Transform faults are locations of recurring earthquake activity and faulting. The earthquakes are usually shallow because they occur within and between plates that are not involved in subduction. Volcanic activity is normally not present because the typical magma sources of an upwelling convection current or a melting subducting plate are not present. The San Andreas Fault is a transform fault
Present Research on the Fault Borehole Geophysics and Rock Mechanics Using borehole geophysical measurements with laboratory studies, scientists study heat flow, stress, fluid pressure, and the mechanical behavior of fault-zone materials at active depths to define models of earthquake cycles. Strong-motion Seismology, Site Response & Ground Motion Strong motion seismology uses special sensors, called accelerometers, to record large-amplitude ground motions and the response of engineered structures to these motions.
Current Successful Research In 2005, this successful borehole marks a major milestone in an effort to understand how quakes originate, how they grow into violent tremors that can rupture the surface for miles, and whether scientists might learn to predict them.
Past Research on the Fault Earthquake Geology & Paleoseismology Earthquake geology is the study of the history, effects, and mechanics of earthquakes within and on the Earth's crust. Regional & Whole-Earth Structure Seismic waves from earthquakes and computer generated simulations and geophysical surveys are used to determine local, crustal, mantle and core structures of the earth.
San Andreas Fault The San Andreas fault is about 28 million years old. Historical records show that the San Andreas Fault experienced massive earthquakes in 1857 at its central section and in 1906 at its northern section. This fault was responsible for the magnitude 7.8 quake, 1906 San Francisco earthquake and the magnitude 6.9 quake, 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake.
Scientific Prediction In April 2008, scientists and engineers released a new earthquake forecast for the State of California called the Uniform California Earthquake Rupture Forecast. This update combines theories and studies made by different groups within the California’s state border. The probability of a large earthquake on the San Andreas Fault in the next 30 years is about 21%, or about 1 out of 5 quakes.
My View I predict that the northern portion of the fault will have an increase of earthquakes that will lead to a major quake during my lifetime. The stress on the northern portion of the fault by the pacific plate is growing according to the areas seismic activity sensors and the Uniform California Earthquake Rupture Forecast This increase in activity will lead to a major fault change