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USGS CMG InfoBank: Transform Faults

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Comment: 09:45 - 10:57 (01:12)
Source: Annenberg/CPB Resources - Earth Revealed - 6. Plate Dynamics
Keywords: "Jason Saleeby", "plate tectonics", plate, "transform fault", "ocean basin", continent, "continental crust", "San Andreas Fault", "Gulf of California", "Juan de Fuca Spreading System", California, "Cape Mendocino", fault, "oceanic crust"

Our transcription: Along some plate boundaries neither divergence nor convergence occurs; instead, two plates slip past one another, their edges marked by a special type of rupture known as a "Transform Fault."
There are really two major environments that we see transform faults occurring.
One is wholly out in the ocean basin, and we call those ridge-ridge transform faults where they offset the diverging ridges.
In a number of instances we find that these transform faults will propagate or eat their way into continental crust.
The type example of this is the San Andreas Fault where the Gulf of California spreading system can be linked up with what's called the "Juan de Fuca Spreading System," which is up off of Northern California or off of Cape Mendicino.
In this case, the zone of transform faulting is usually much more complex because the continental crust is much more complex than the oceanic crust.
It's thicker.
It has internal structure already that's evolved over millions of years.
It's just an overall much more complicated environment.

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