Will Los Angeles and San Francisco Ever Be Neighbors?

The recent earthquakes on the San Andrés fault are the result of the movement of tectonic plates. The Pacific and North American plates slide one above the other along the San Andres fault, at a rate of about two inches each year.

Los Angeles

, located on the edge of the Pacific Plate, is slowly moving northward at a rate similar to that of nail growth. In the past, there have been major earthquakes in the south of San Andrés.

Plate tectonics hasn't stopped; it continues to push Los Angeles towards San Francisco at the same rate as nails grow, approximately 1.5 inches each year. Although both cities are in the same state and on the same continent, they are located on different tectonic plates. Los Angeles is located on the Pacific plate, which extends from California to Japan, from the Aleutian Arc of Alaska to New Zealand. San Francisco is located on the North American plate, which extends east to the Mid-Atlantic mountain range and Iceland.The boundary between them is the San Andrés fault.

This is where the two plates are slowly dragged one over the other; their movement cannot be stopped any longer than we could turn off the sun. We can find out by looking at two different SCIGN stations, one on each side of the San Andreas, and using their relative motion to determine how long it will take Los Angeles and San Francisco to meet.Someday, in the distant future, the movement of the Pacific plate along the San Andres Fault will eventually lead Los Angeles and east of San Francisco to come together and be neighbors. If current rates of movement are maintained, Los Angeles will be next to San Francisco in approximately 20 million years. Los Angeles City Hall is now more than 15 feet closer to San Francisco than when it was built in 1926.The nature of the San Andres fault system movement means that one day Los Angeles will be next to San Francisco.If you know the fare and distance, you can calculate the amount of time it would take for Los Angeles and San Francisco to meet.

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