The Pacific-North American Plate Boundary
Joann M. Stock
Wednesday, January 23, 2008 at 8:00 PM
FREE; no tickets or reservations required
The Pacific-North American Plate Boundary, Mexican Style
The San Andreas fault system in California marks the boundary between two of the earth's major tectonic plates: the Pacific plate and the North American plate. What happens to this plate boundary as it goes south into Mexico and underwater in the Gulf of California? From the international border region southward, the plates have been moving slightly apart, leading to deeper sedimentary basins and more volcanism. Recently-recognized correlations of these deposits over distances of hundreds of kilometers allow the changes in the plate boundary over the past six million years to be more easily reconstructed.
Dr. Stock will discuss how studies of volcanic and sedimentary rocks in Mexico and southernmost California help us understand the slip history of the San Andreas fault system farther north in California, and will highlight the dramatic changes in the geology and geography of land and ocean that have occurred in the plate boundary region.
Joann M. Stock is Professor of Geology and Geophysics at Caltech.
Joann M. Stock
Please Note: This event will be digitally recorded and made available for viewing on the Caltech Theater site. Many past Watson Lectures are available for viewing online on the Caltech Theater site, and are available for purchase: DVD Order Form (PDF)