Pacific Ring of Fire

region at edges of Pacific Ocean known for tectonic activity

The Pacific Ring of Fire is an arc around the Pacific Ocean where many volcanoes and earthquakes are formed.[1] The area is also called the Pacific Rim, a term which refers to the coastal areas of the countries round the Pacific.[2]

The pacific ring of fire
Eruption of Mount St. Helens on July 22, 1980.

About three quarters of the world's dormant volcanos and active volcanos are here. The ring is 40,000km long, and there are 452 volcanoes.[3]

About 90%[4] of the world's earthquakes and 81%[5] of the world's largest earthquakes occur along the Ring of Fire. The next most seismic region (5–6% of earthquakes and 17%[5] of the world's largest earthquakes) is the Alpide belt, which extends from Java to Sumatra through the Himalayas, the Mediterranean, and out into the Atlantic. The Mid-Atlantic Ridge is the third most prominent earthquake belt.[6][7]

The Ring of Fire is a direct result of plate tectonics and the movement and collisions of crustal plates.[8]



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  2. Linda, Wojtan (1987). "Teaching about the Pacific Rim. ERIC Digest No. 43". ERIC DIGEST. Retrieved 22 August 2018.
  3. "Ring of Fire - Pacific Ring of Fire". 2010-06-14. Retrieved 2010-11-01.
  4. "Earthquake Glossary". Retrieved 2017-11-01.
  5. 5.0 5.1 "Earthquake Facts & Earthquake Fantasy". Archived from the original on 2017-12-13. Retrieved 2017-11-01.
  6. U.S. Geological Survey Earthquakes FAQ Archived 2006-01-17 at the Wayback Machine.
  7. U.S. Geological Survey Earthquakes Visual Glossary Archived 2005-12-10 at the Wayback Machine.
  8. Moving slabs [This dynamic Earth, USGS].
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 9.3 United States Geologic Survey (USGS), "Decade Volcanoes". Retrieved 2012-6-15.
  10. Costa Rica National Parks, "Irazu Volcano National Park". Retrieved 2012-6-15.
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 11.3 11.4 11.5 11.6 USGS, "Deadliest Volcanic Eruptions Since 1500 A.D.". Retrieved 2012-6-15. Archived 2012-03-28 at WebCite
  12. Malahoff, Alexander. "Loihi Submarine Volcano: A unique, natural extremophile laboratory,"National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), December 18, 2000. Retrieved 2012-6-15. Archived 2012-04-10 at WebCite
  13. USGS, "Mount Baker—Living with an Active Volcano,"May 25, 2005. Retrieved 2012-6-15. Archived 2011-05-07 at WebCite
  14. Geological Survey of Japan, "Active Volcanoes in Japan"[permanent dead link]. Retrieved 2012-6-14.
  15. USGS, "Mount Hood—History and Hazards of Oregon's Most Recently Active Volcano," May 27, 2010. Retrieved 2012-6-15.
  16. "Villagers flee biggest Mt Merapi eruption yet," The Guardian (UK). June 8, 2006. Retrieved 2012-6-15.
  17. US National Park Service (NPS), "Mount Rainier". Retrieved 2012-6-15.
  18. 18.0 18.1 UNESCO, "Hawaii Volcanoes National Park". Retrieved 2012-6-14.
  19. Global Volcanism Program (GVP), "Sakura-jima". Retrieved 2012-6-15.
  20. McGuire, Bill. "In the shadow of the volcano," The Guardian,15 October 2003. Retrieved 2012-6-15.