Fractured by bmac62 ()
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Exotic geology of the Mecca Hills. (Box Canyon Road/California State Highway 195)
This is what an earthquake producing fault line can do! Notice the rock strata is horizontal on the left side of the road BUT close to vertical on the right side!
Most people have heard of the San Andreas Fault. Some have speculated that some day California will be split off from mainland North America thanks to this fault line created where the Pacific Tectonic Plate continues to subduct under the North American Plate.
The road beneath our car tires runs right along the San Andreas Fault. Our prayers for a quiet day were answered. We made it back to our motorhome at the end of this exciting day all in one piece:-)
Image Comments (30)
This is an amazing shot, Bill! And what a landscape - that vertical tilt was the first thing I saw - truly amazing, the power of this earth we live on! I'm no geologist, but I can't picture California sliding off into the Pacific... If I remember correctly, the Pacific plate is pushing IN to the continent as it subducts. It seems more likely California would eventually become part of Arizona... :-P
If you like plate tectonics mate, you might like THIS
In theory, Los Angeles will eventually be the next town over from Portland. What's left of the plate that was plowing under North America is sliding under Seattle, and the "new" Pacific plate is moving north rather than east. I'm so happy that I won't be around to see Los Angeles approaching Seattle! :P Great shot of this unique spot. Nicely done!
I love how you capture both the horizontal and the vertical rock formations next to each other as well as the lovely soft-looking shrubbery along the road. The earth is so powerful. We often think of that when traveling along a fault line, but in truth disastrous events can happen anywhere on the earth at any time with warning or without. I am glad you took the leap of faith to travel this road, take wonderful pictures and share them with us. I also love traveling vicariously with the two of you. Thanks for sharing your experiences.
I must confess to being a visual dolt on this one...I never noticed the opposite layers, so thanks for telling me! About the subduction, I have a different theory. I think the North American Plate is simply tilting in the center of America because of all the stuff we North Americans have been collecting for so many years, thus causing the Pacific side of it to rise, allowing the Pacific Tectonic Plate to slide under. Somewhere in middle America it will eventually crack due to Lines of Credit.
Thanks for the photo, Bill. I remember traveling along this highway back in 1967 and being awed by the forces of nature as seen here. I unfortunately didn't have a camera and it would have been difficult to photograph through a dirty bus window. My feeling is that the Pacific side of California will be pushed under the eastern side of California when push comes to shove, so California will be destroying itself. Glad my brother lives on the east side of the fault, about a mile east of it, near where the fault goes into the ocean. Check out a San Francisco map, south west corner, Lake Merced. That's a subduction in the fault. If you have more photos of the fault line geology I'd really appreciate having them posted. Keep up the good work! :-)
Man, you were beyond lucky that the San Andreas Fault didn't awaken from its dormant sleep as you drove along its treacherous surface. I've read that if it wasn't for earthquakes, that California would be as flat as Kansas. Anyway, fine composition and depth in this rocky shot, Bill.
I tend to expect rock strata to be horizontal, so the formation on the left, while exceptionally beautiful, is as my mind expects. That on the right, is totally unexpected. It makes me think of scenes from 'The Lord of the Rings' where the land looks otherworldly. Seeing them together is really strange. The redder tones on the left and bluer on the right, add to the feeling of dissimilar parts that really don't go together. The structure on the left makes me think of endless ages of sediment laid down and hardened, on the right I think instead of violent upheaval. Very interesting contrasts and information. I like the soft greens and oranges of the plants. Great shot.