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Alondra Hernandez

Natural Disasters

Professor Nielson

April 25, 2017

Disasters in movies: San Andreas Fault

For my research on disasters in movies I decided to use the San Andreas Fault because it

is so widely known. I grew up in Southern California for many years and I remember being

terrified by people thanking about the fault. Then once the movie came out I became even more

worried about this huge earthquake. AS I grew up I realized that movies make it seem much

more drastic then it really is. Of course, if the San Andreas Fault was to produce an earthquake, it

would be extremely dangerous, but not quite as seem in movies.

(Rossetto, 2014) “The San Andreas Fault is a

fault...It

slices California in two

from Cape Mendocino to the Mexican border” (Geology, 2017). As seen on figure 1. The plates

Alondra Hernandez Natural Disasters Professor Nielson April 25, 2017 Disasters in movies: San Andreas Fault Fortransform fault ...It slices California in two from Cape Mendocino to the Mexican border” (Geology, 2017). As seen on figure 1. The plates (Rossetto, 2014) shift about 2.5 inches per year and is the most famous Fault because of how big it is and the size of the population around it. Which is probably why films have been made about it. “ San Andreas is a 2015 American disaster film directed by Brad Peyton and written by Carlton Cuse …The film stars Dwayne Johnson” (San Andreas (film), 2017). The film is about a fire department air rescue man who is called to work when a 7.1 earthquake originating from the San Andreas Fault strikes. (San Andreas (film), 2017) " id="pdf-obj-0-35" src="pdf-obj-0-35.jpg">

(Rossetto, 2014)

shift about 2.5 inches per year and is the most famous Fault

because of how big it is and the size of the population around it.

Which is probably why films have been made about it. “San

Alondra Hernandez Natural Disasters Professor Nielson April 25, 2017 Disasters in movies: San Andreas Fault Fortransform fault ...It slices California in two from Cape Mendocino to the Mexican border” (Geology, 2017). As seen on figure 1. The plates (Rossetto, 2014) shift about 2.5 inches per year and is the most famous Fault because of how big it is and the size of the population around it. Which is probably why films have been made about it. “ San Andreas is a 2015 American disaster film directed by Brad Peyton and written by Carlton Cuse …The film stars Dwayne Johnson” (San Andreas (film), 2017). The film is about a fire department air rescue man who is called to work when a 7.1 earthquake originating from the San Andreas Fault strikes. (San Andreas (film), 2017) " id="pdf-obj-0-46" src="pdf-obj-0-46.jpg">

Andreas

is a 2015 American

directed by

and

written by

Carlton Cuse…The film

stars

Dwayne Johnson” (San Andreas (film), 2017). The film is about

a fire department air rescue man who is called to work when a 7.1

earthquake originating from the San Andreas Fault strikes.

(San Andreas (film),

2017)

In one of the scenes in the movie, a seismologist names Lawrence mentions the words

“Richter Magnitude”. Journalists use this term for the Richter scale. “It was developed for

assessing small earthquakes in California, and so the actual scale cannot capture very large

earthquakes. It’s unable to record them. Seismologists would, in fact, use something called the

moment magnitude scale to measure these large events.” (Rossetto, 2014). In the movie we see a

seismologist find out that there is going to be an earthquake in the next few minutes, but in real

life, we cannot predict when they are going to happen. “science is not developed enough to say

there will be a quake in a certain place at a specific time. What can be done is a probabilistic

forecast, which basically says that in the next 10 years there will be an earthquake of a certain

magnitude.” (Rossetto, 2014). Lastly, in the film, the earthquake triggers a tsunami. The part that

doesn’t make sense however, is that tsunamis occur on subduction faults, and the San Andreas

fault is a Transform fault. “As the fault is not under the water there is no way that it would

actually displace any water and create a tsunami. The only physical thing that might have

generated a tsunami would be an underwater landslide triggered from the ground shaking.”

(Rossetto, 2014).

It is safe to say films are extremely enhanced to keep the audience intrigued. San

Andreas is an example of this because of the way many of the components in the movie were

exaggerated. Whether it was the Richter scale, predictions, tsunamis, or even the fact that the

tsunami waves were exceptionally unrealistic reaching 33 to 45 meter in inundation. No matter

of how simulated it is. It still makes for a great movie.

Citations

 

"The San Andreas Fault."

Geology. N.p., n.d. Web. 25 Apr. 2017.

 

<http://geology.com/articles/san-andreas-fault.shtml>.

 
 
 

"San Andreas (film)."

Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 24 Apr. 2017. Web. 25 Apr. 2017.

<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/San_Andreas_(film)>.

 
 

Rossetto, Tiziana. "How Scientifically Accurate Is San Andreas? Rock Solid or a Bit

 

Faulty?"The Guardian. Guardian News and Media, 04 June 2015. Web. 25 Apr. 2017.

 

<https://www.theguardian.com/film/filmblog/2015/jun/04/san-andreas-earthquake-movie-is-it-

accurate>.