San Francisco Earthquake and Fire Snapshots: The San Andreas Fault Line
The San Andreas fault has long been a source of unease among California residents. It stretches more than 800 miles along the west coast of California from north of Point Delgada to the Cajun Pass near San Bernardino, and is caused by the connection of the Pacific and North American tectonic plates. The fault is well known for having a right-lateral strike-slip movement, when the ground on the opposite side of the fault appears to be moving to the right.
The one of the first recorded large-scale earthquakes on the San Andreas fault line took place on January 9, 1857. The epicenter was in Fort Tejon, near Los Angeles, and the seizmic activity caused the ground to slide twenty nine feet horizontally from its original location.
The San Francisco earthquake of 1906 was comparable to the Fort Tejon temblor in size, but it effected far more people.
San Francisco, a city of nearly 400,000 people at the time, was considered the "Paris of the west". Ever since its settlement in the late 1840's, the size of the population nearly doubled every 20 years until the early 20th century. After the widespread destruction wrought by the earthquake and fire, it took several years and millions of dollars before San Franciscans fully repaired the damage.
San Francisco Earthquake Snapshots, Utah State University Special Collections and Archives, P0346, Box 1, no. 2, 9.
"The San Andreas Fault", by Sara S. Schultz and Robert E. Wallace, U.S. Geological Survey Information Services, last modified July 11, 2013. Accessed August 20, 2015, http://pubs.usgs.gov/gip/earthq3/safaultgip.html.
"What Will Really Happen when San Andreas Unleashes the Big One?", Sara Zeilinski, Smithsonian.com, May 28, 2015. Accessed August 20, 2015, http://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/what-will-really-happen-california-when-san-andreas-unleashes-big-one-180955432/?no-ist.
San Francisco; A Chronological and Documentary History 1542-1970, Compiled and Edited by Robert Mayer (New York: Oceana Publications, 1974), 10-38.