Where does most of the earth's volcanic activity take place?
Where Does Volcanic Activity Occur? Myth: Most of the Earth's igneous rocks are produced at the "Ring of Fire." Fact: 70% of the Earth's surface is ocean floor, which is made of basalt, an igneous rock produced at mid-ocean ridges. The ridges are the most volcanically active features on the planet.
There are three kinds of plate tectonic boundaries: divergent, convergent, and transform plate boundaries. This image shows the three main types of plate boundaries: divergent, convergent, and transform.
- This process is called continental drift. The plates move because of convection currents in the Earth's mantle. These are driven by the heat produced by the decay of radioactive elements and heat left over from the formation of the Earth.
- Subduction zones circle the Pacific Ocean, forming the Ring of Fire. A subduction zone is the biggest crash scene on Earth. These boundaries mark the collision between two of the planet's tectonic plates. The plates are pieces of crust that slowly move across the planet's surface over millions of years.
- There are three types of convergent boundaries each with its own consequences.
- Oceanic-Continental Convergence. The first type of convergent boundary is Oceanic-Continetal Convergence.
- Oceanic-Oceanic Convergence. The next type is Oceanic-Oceanic Convergence.
- Continental-Continental Convergence.
Tectonic Settings. Plate tectonics is the large scale movement of Earth's crust, and results in a number of distinct geologic settings.
- Tectonic Settings. Plate tectonics is the large scale movement of Earth's crust, and results in a number of distinct geologic settings.
- Mt St Helens is a major stratovolcano in the Cascades Range, all of which have formed as a result of the ongoing subduction of the Juan de Fuca tectonic plate beneath the western coast of North America.
- Volcanoes can also form in the middle of a plate, where magma rises upward until it erupts on the seafloor, at what is called a “hot spot.” The Hawaiian Islands were formed by such a hot spot occurring in the middle of the Pacific Plate. While the hot spot itself is fixed, the plate is moving.
- Pacific Ocean
- The result: More volcanoes and earthquakes in places like California and Japan. For land-based volcanoes, Indonesia is the hotbed for fiery craters since it is part of the roughly 25,000 mile stretch circling the basin of the Pacific Ocean known 'ring of fire' where most active volcanoes lie.
- Okay so let's go. Fraser: The Pacific Ring of Fire wraps around the Pacific Ocean, including countries like Japan, Canada, New Zealand and Chile. And the inhabitants within those countries are prone to… oh… killer earthquakes, volcanoes and tsunamis.
Updated: 3rd October 2019