View the Seeds of our Destruction in a Google Earth Mashup

Illustration for article titled View the Seeds of our Destruction in a Google Earth Mashup

Nothing says "massive destructive force" like the rocks exhumed from two kilometers down in the earthquake-causing San Andreas Fault. Mangled and twisted by the fault's awesome power, these rocks help you understand why a flick of this fault's little finger is enough to flatten entire cities. And now you can see them up close, with a new Google Earth mashup that lets you get personal with boulders that were drilled as part of the San Andreas Fault Observatory at Depth (SAFOD) project.

As you scan through the data (Hole G, section 8 is where the action is, really), you can almost imagine running your fingers along the fault. The images are side-by-side photos, taken from opposite sides of the drill cores. Admittedly, they're not as sexy as a lot of the eye candy we usually link to. But they're beautiful in the same way images of the comet Shoemaker-Levy 9 slamming into Jupiter in 1994 were beautiful. Looking at them, it's hard to ignore that little voice inside saying "wow, that could happen to us."

Source: via Discovery News

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I don't see anything particularly special about those rocks... then again, I'm used to New England rocks, which contain pretty much every sort of deformation and metamorphism you could get.