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San Andreas Fault Map - Zoom in for a Closer Look!

Map by David K. Lynch, author of and Bradley M. Cole of

This satellite view shows the approximate trace of the San Andreas Fault across California. A fault trace is a line on a map where the fault is believed to intersect Earth's surface. Use the buttons in the upper left corner of the map window to zoom in and out and follow the fault across California. You can switch between map, satellite, and hybrid views by clicking the buttons in the upper right corner of the map window. Details about this map, how it was made and how accurate it might be are given below.

The San Andreas Fault trace shown on this map is approximate. It was created by measuring the latitude and longitude for many points along the fault trace from maps published by the United States Geological Survey, California Geological Survey and other sources (a detailed list of these publications can be seen here). These points are shown on the map as small red squares. The light red lines that connect the squares are linear interpolations. This yields a map that shows the approximate location of the fault. The points and the lines shown on this map are generally within about one hundred feet (actual ground distance) of where the authors of the source documents plotted them - however there are locations where greater divergence occur.

This map provides a visual presentation of the fault in a format that can be easily transmitted via the web to a very large number of people who might otherwise know very little about the fault's location. We have chosen to represent the fault as a thin line, not because the location is known that precisely, but because we do not want to obscure ground features and evidence of the fault's location that can be seen in the satellite images.

The concept of this map was created by Dr. David K. Lynch, author of Field Guide to the San Andreas Fault and Dr. Hobart M. King, publisher of The Google map was created by Bradley Cole, cartographer, We thank Google and authors of the publications used to obtain the latitude and longitude estimates that serve as the basis for this map.

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