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Farallon plate
Karin Sigloch *08
University of Munich, Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences
This is a three-dimensional structure of the Earth&

Seismic tomography uses waves generated by naturally occurring, strong earthquakes to probe and "illuminate" the planet&

The Pacific coastlines and mountainous western states are plotted above an expansive, seismically fast structure, colored in purple, known as the Farallon plate. It is a vast piece of ancient ocean floor that has been slowly sinking back into the mantle over the past 150 million years. The tectonic stresses caused by the Farallon's movements deep underground have thrust up the mountain peaks and plateaus of the West. They continue to drive its volcanoes and earthquakes, thus shaping the surface appearance of an entire continent.