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Southern California landslides-an overview

September 29, 2005

Southern California lies astride a major tectonic plate boundary defined by the San Andreas Fault and numerous related faults that are spread across a broad region. This dynamic tectonic environment has created a spectacular landscape of rugged mountains and steep-walled valleys that compose much of the region’s scenic beauty. Unfortunately, this extraordinary landscape also presents serious geologic hazards. Just as tectonic forces are steadily pushing the landscape upward, gravity is relentlessly tugging it downward. When gravity prevails, landslides can occur.