The claim: An image shows the San Andreas fault line that is 132 kilometers long and 32 kilometers deep
As many Americans are embarking on summer travels, social media users are sharing an image that misrepresents a fissure in one of America's national parks as the San Andreas Fault.
“San Andreas fault line. 132km long and 32km deep,” claims a July 20 Facebook post.
However, this post is inaccurate on several counts. The image was taken in Utah and the San Andreas fault line is much longer and half as deep as the post claims.
USA TODAY reached out to the poster for comment.
Image shows Black Crack in Utah
The photo actually shows Black Crack along White Rim Road in Canyonlands National Park in Utah. According to one of the park’s 2017 Facebook posts, Black Crack is at least 65 feet deep and 3 feet wide.
Robert Anderson, a park ranger for Canyonlands, confirmed via email that the fissure in the image "is very much Black Crack!"
The fault line is longer and shallower
The fault’s tectonic movements have been involved in several large earthquakes. In 1906, sudden displacement along the fault line caused the historic San Francisco earthquake. The earthquake and the massive fire it caused killed at least 700 people.
Despite its size, the fault line's appearance is surprisingly subtle from the ground.
The United States Geological Survey described how the fault line creates long straight escarpments, narrow ridges and sharp angles in channels. From the air, the arrangement of lakes, bays and valleys along the fault line is much more obvious.
Our rating: False
Because it is not supported by our research, we rate FALSE the claim that an image shows the San Andreas fault line and that it is 132 kilometers (82 miles) long and 32 kilometers (20 miles) deep. The image shows Black Crack in Canyonlands National Park in Utah. The San Andreas fault line in California is 1,287 kilometers (800 miles) long, 16 kilometers (10 miles) deep.
Our fact-check sources:
Alamy, May 24, 2012, Black Crack, White Rim Road
National Park Service, accessed July 25, Canyonlands
Canyonlands National Park, June 25, 2017, Facebook post
Robert Anderson, July 27, Email exchange with USA TODAY
Britannica, accessed July 25, San Andreas Fault
U.S. Geological Survey, Nov. 30, 2016, The San Andreas Fault
U.S. Geological Survey, accessed July 28, The Great 1906 San Francisco Earthquake
Lead Stories, July 23, Fact Check: Photo Does NOT Show The San Andreas Fault
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This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Fact check: Black Crack in Utah, not San Andreas Fault, shown in image