The Ring of Fire

The Ring of Fire


About 90% of the world's earthquakes occur along the Ring of Fire, an area in the basin of the Pacific Ocean.


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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.

The material from the ocean floor melts as it enters the Earth's interior and then rises to the nearby surface as magma. Noteworthy volcanoes that dot the Ring of Fire include Mount St. Helens in the USA, Mount Fuji in Japan, and Mount Pinatubo in the Philippines. Since 1850, approximately 90% of the 16 most powerful volcanic eruptions on Earth have occurred within the Pacific Ring of Fire.


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