Reading Comprehension 7

1. READ TEXT QUICKLY AND SIGN DIFFICULT WORDS

The San Andreas Fault line is a fracture at the congruence of two major plates of the Earth’s crust, one of which support most of the North American continent, and the other of which underlies the coast of California and part of the ocean floor of the Pacific Ocean. The fault originates about six hundred miles south of the Gulf of California, runs north in an irregular line along the western coast to San Francisco, and continues north for about two hundred more miles before angling off into the ocean. In places, the trace of the fault is marked by a trench, or, in geological terms, a rift, and a small ponds dot the landscape. Its western side always move north in relation to its eastern side. The total net slip along the San Andreas Fault and the length of time it has been active are matters of conjecture, but it has been estimated that, during the past fifteen million years, coastal California along the San Andreas Fault has moved about 190 miles in a northwesterly direction with respect to the North American plate. Although the movement along the fault averages only a few inches a year, it is intermittent and variable. Some segments of the fault do not have move at all for long periods of time, building up tremendous pressure that must be released. For this reason, tremors are not unusual along the San Andreas Fault, some of which are classified as major earthquakes. Also for this reason, small tremors are interpreted as safe, since they are understood to be pressure that releases without causing much damage.

It is worth nothing that the San Andreas Fault passes uncomfortably close to several major metropolitan areas, including Los Angeles and San Francisco. In addition, the San Andreas Fault  has created smaller fault systems, many of which underlie the smaller towns and cities along the  California coast. For this reason, Californians have long anticipated the recurrence of what they refer to as the “Big One,” a chain reaction of destructive earthquakes that would measure near 8 on the Richter scale, similar in intensity to those that occurred in 1857 and 1906. Such a quake would wreak devastating effects on the life and property in the region. Unfortunately, as pressure continues to build along the fault, the likelihood of such an earthquake increases substantially.

2. NEW VOCABULARY WITH THEIR MEANING

  • Fracture : a break, breach, or split.
  • Congruence : the quality or state of agreeing or corresponding.
  • Plates : In plate tectonics, one of the sections of the Earth’s lithosphere (crustandupper mantle) that is in constant motion along with othersections.
  • Crust : the outer layer of the earth, about 22 miles (35 km) deepunder the continents(continental crust) and 6 miles (10 km) deepunder the oceans (oceanic crust)
  • Gulf : a portion of an ocean or sea partly enclosed by land.
  • Angling : the act or art of fishing with a hook and line, usually attached to a rod.
  • Trench : a long, narrow excavation in the ground, the earth fromwhich is thrown up infront to serve as a shelter from enemy fire orattack.
  • Rift : an opening made by splitting, cleaving, etc.; fissure; cleft; chink.
  • Ponds : a body of water smaller than a lake, sometimes artificially formed, asbydamming a stream.
  • Net : sold at a stated price with all parts and charges included and with alldeductionshaving been made.
  • Conjecture : the formation or expression of an opinion or theory withoutsufficientevidence for proof.
  • Estimated : to form an approximate judgment or opinion regarding the worth,amount,size, weight, etc.
  • Coastal : of, relating to, bordering on, or located near a coast
  • Intermittent : stopping or ceasing for a time; alternately ceasing and beginningagain
  • Segments : one of the parts into which something naturally separates or is divided;adivision, portion, or section
  • Tremendous : extraordinarily great in size, amount, or intensity
  • Devastating : tending or threatening to devastate
  • Substantially : of ample or considerable amount, quantity, size, etc.

3. THE IDEAS OF EACH PARAGRAPH

  • Paragraph one : The San Andreas Fault line is a fracture at the congruence of two major plates of the Earth’s crust, one of which support most of the North American continent, and the other of which underlies the coast of California and part of the ocean floor of the Pacific Ocean. The fault originates about six hundred miles south of the Gulf of California, runs north in an irregular line along the western coast to San Francisco, and continues north for about two hundred more miles before angling off into the ocean.
  • Paragraph two : The San Andreas Fault passes uncomfortably close to several major metropolitan areas, including Los Angeles and San Francisco. In addition, the San Andreas Fault  has created smaller fault systems, many of which underlie the smaller towns and cities along the  California coast.

4. ANSWER FROM THE QUESTIONS GIVEN

1. What is the author’s main purpose in the passage?

  • A. To describe the San Andreas Fault
  • B. To give a definition of a fault
  • C. To explain the reason for tremors and earthquakes
  • D. To classify different kinds of faults

2. How does the author define the San Andreas Fault?

  • A. A plate that underlies the North American continent
  • B. A crack in the Earth’s crush between two plates.
  • C. Occasional tremors and earthquakes
  • D. Intense pressure that builds up

3. The word originates in paragraph 1 could best be replaced by ?

  • A. Gets wider
  • B. Changes direction
  • C. Begins
  • D. Disappears

4. In which direction does the western side of the fault move?

  • A. West
  • B. East
  • C. North
  • D. South

5. The word it in the paragraph 1 refers to ?

  • A. San Francisco
  • B. Ocean
  • C. Coast
  • D. Fault

6. The word intermittent in paragraph 1 could best be replaced by which one of the following?

  • A. Dangerous
  • B. Predictable
  • C. Uncommon
  • D. Occasional

7. Along the San Andreas Fault, tremors are ?

  • A. Small and insignificant
  • B. Rare, but disastrous
  • C. Frequent events
  • D. Very unpredictable

8. The phrase “the Big One” refers to which of the following?

  • A. A serious earthquake
  • B. The San Andreas Fault
  • C. The river scale
  • D. California

9. Which of the following words best describes the San Andreas Fault?

  • A. Straight
  • B. Deep
  • C. Wide
  • D. Rough

5. SUMMARY OF THE PASSAGE

The San Andreas Fault line is a fracture at the congruence of two major plates of the Earth’s crust, one of which support most of the North American continent, and the other of which underlies the coast of California and part of the ocean floor of the Pacific Ocean. The fault originates about six hundred miles south of the Gulf of California, runs north in an irregular line along the western coast to San Francisco, and continues north for about two hundred more miles before angling off into the ocean.

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