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Why are many traces clipped even for minor earthquakes? At present, most of the NCSN stations rely upon 1970s-era analog instrumentation. By today's standards, these instruments have severely restricted dynamic range. In order to detect and monitor small regional earthquakes, they must run at such high gain that nearby events of even minor size exceed the capabilities of their electronics. As we are able to upgrade the instruments to modern broad-band digital instruments, we will suffer less data loss due to clipping.
The San Andreas Fault is a continental transform fault that runs a length of roughly 800 miles (1,300 km) through California in the United States, and through Baja California in Mexico. The fault's motion is right-lateral strike-slip (horizontal motion). It forms the tectonic boundary between the Pacific Plate and the North American Plate.