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The Pacific’s Ring of Fire has 75% of the world’s active and dormant volcanoes, plus it’s prone to powerful earthquakes. Here’s why.
The Ring of Fire is a long chain of volcanoes and other tectonically active structures that surround the Pacific Ocean. The chain runs up along the western coast of South and North America, crosses over the Aleutian Islands in Alaska, runs down the eastern coast of Asia past New Zealand and into the northern coast of Antarctica. The Ring of Fire is one of the most geologically active areas on Earth, and is a site for frequent earthquakes and powerful volcanic eruptions.
There are more than 450 active and dormant volcanoes located within the Ring of Fire. Many of these volcanoes were created through the tectonic process of subduction whereby dense ocean plates collide with and slide under lighter continental plates.
Bottom line: The Ring of Fire is a long chain of volcanoes and other tectonically active structures such as ocean trenches and earthquake fault zones that surround the Pacific Ocean.
Approximately 90% of the most powerful volcanic eruptions and about 81% of the world’s largest earthquakes have occurred along the Ring of Fire. The Ring of Fire is home to millions of people who are working to improve their resiliency to natural disasters.
Deep ocean trenches are a common feature of the Ring of Fire. These trenches form along subduction zones where slabs of the ocean floor slide into the Earth. The deepest part of the ocean on Earth, the Mariana Trench, is located along the Ring of Fire in the western portion of the Pacific Ocean Basin.
The majority of Earth’s earthquakes occur in the Ring of Fire, too. These earthquakes are caused by the sudden lateral or vertical movement of rock along plate margins. About 81% of the world’s largest earthquakes have occurred along the Ring of Fire.
The largest earthquake ever recorded on Earth was a 9.5 magnitude earthquake that struck Chile on May 22, 1960. Other noteworthy earthquakes that have occurred along the Ring of Fire include a 9.2 magnitude earthquake that struck Prince William Sound, Alaska on March 28, 1964, a 9.1 magnitude earthquake that struck off the coast of Sumatra on December 26, 2004 and a 9.0 earthquake that struck near the coast of Honshu, Japan on March 11, 2011.
originally posted by: JesusXst
a reply to: GoShredAK
That's gotta be nerve wracking for you. I've heard a few things over the past few years about it collapsing and creating havoc.
If Japan ever fell into the ocean, I've heard for years that it would cause a Tsunami across the Pacific west coast of America and Canada. I don't know if that could cause an impact under the water near the Ring of Fire, probably, my guess is yes it would effect a lot of that area.
That and a couple of dreams like this, kind of wakes you up to that potential reality you'd be facing if it were to happen.
originally posted by: Arnie123
Whoa, thanks for this information. It isn't something I would have looked up anytime soon. As a child I was content with what I saw and interestingly, I thought it was clustered around India and China, Australia being the furthest out. How I was so wrong!
It truly is funny and interesting that what you see as a kid and then looking at it again later in life seems to have changed over time! like I could have sworn...the hell...
originally posted by: liveandlearn
a reply to: JesusXst
Excellent post. Thank you
My question...how many of these volcanoes are triggered by earthquakes or how many earthquakes are triggered by volcanoes. There seems to be much talk about el nino being a result of volcano eruption. Any idea if these are correlated?
originally posted by: chr0naut
a reply to: JesusXst
I live on the ring of fire (Auckland is practically made of calderras) and there does seem to be a bit of a ramp up in activity.
Last week there were two new geysers that fired up from Lake Rotorua and the island in the middle of Lake Taupo (Taupo is a supervolcano) has started 'lifting' with increasing speed (indicating a ramp up in subterranean pressure).
Also, we've had a few large quakes in the last two weeks which seems to have lubricated the process, triggering smaller quakes closetr to the volcanos.