California continues to shake following yesterday’s 6.0-magnitude earthquake in Napa. Associate Professor Andrew Newman travels around the world, trying to better understand earthquakes and volcanoes.
Despite being the largest earthquake in the region in the past 25 years, the Napa earthquake represents the overall expected behavior of the earth's crust near the active plate boundary that separates most of North America from the Pacific plate. Along the San Andreas and adjacent faults, the plates try to slide past one another at a little more than an inch a year. When the surface between the plates sticks, it builds energy that is released in these earthquakes.