Thursday, March 13, 2008

Soceities Living On Active Plate Boundries

Many societies live on an active plate boundary today; meaning that they have to deal with the reoccurring bother of financial burdens, rebuilding, and just the plain annoyance of earthquakes.
The city of Hollister, California is one of the many places that lie on a tectonic plate boundary or fault zone. In this case, it is the Calveras Fault, which is slowly bending towards the San Andreas, and is causing Hollister to slowly creep along with it. This crawling motion is the result of much damage that needs to be tended to in order to keep the city in order. Things such as: offset roads, fences, sidewalks, pipelines, and other structures that cross the fault. If left to bend for too long, these can lead to further damage like cracked or sloping roads, and structures broken in half. Constantly repairing these things costs a lot of money, and so the city suffers the need to get it somewhere, or risk the safety of their citizens.
Unfortunately, money is not the only problem in Hollister; this place not only has to pay for the minor repairs, but also has to rebuild many structures for various reasons. These may include sidewalks and roads broken by an unusually strong and unpredictable earthquake and many buildings that simply broke because they could no longer withstand the stress of the creeping fault.
Lastly, this major city must undergo the daily annoyance of 20,000 earthquakes a year. Before you get ahead of yourself, thinking they are constantly rumbling and moving around, let me assure you that many of these earthquakes cannot be felt, or are simply just at minor vibration of the ground. Fortunately, the fault is only creeping at a rate of 6 mm/year, so it doesn’t pose much danger, in recent terms that is.
In the end, its not going to kill you to live on an active plate boundary, but you must be aware of the things you will have to grow accustomed to like financial problems, constant rebuilding, and the pain in the butt annoyance of daily earthquakes. HM4

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