The Ring Of Fire. Essay

1046 words - 4 pages

Most volcanoes are located on the continents edges, along island chains or beneath the sea forming long mountain ranges. More than half of the world's active volcanoes above sea level encircle the Pacific Ocean to form the circum-Pacific "Ring of Fire." The ring of fire makes up seventy five percent of the worlds dormant and active volcanoes. More than half of the world's active volcanoes above sea level are part of the ring. The Ring of Fire is an arc of volcanoes that stretches from New Zealand all the way across the coast of North and South America. This area got its name because there is a great amount of volcanoes that encircle the Pacific Ocean. The ring of fire is known for frequent earthquakes and volcano eruptions. This area of volcanic and seismic activity was noticed and described before the invention of the plate tectonics theory. Around the ring of fire the Pacific plate is colliding with and sliding underneath other plates. This area is known as the subduction zone. The energy that is generated by these plates is tremendous.The Ring of Fire is the location where most of the seismic activity in the world is taking place. The Pacific Ocean has a mid- oceanic ridges and is surrounded by subduction zones. The spreading rates of the ridges are very fast, resulting in the subduction zones destroying a great amount of the Earth's crust. This is why there are so many earthquakes and volcanoes all around the rim of the Pacific Ocean, where the subduction zones are located. The energy is so great that it can easily melt rocks into magma. The Ring of Fire is a great example of plate boundary volcanoes.The major volcanic regions in the Ring of fire are: the Cotopaxi and Azul volcanoes located in South America, the Popcatepetl and Paricutun volcanoes that are found in Central America, Mount St. Helens in the United States, and Mt. Fuji in Eurasia.The Cotopaxi and Azul volcanoes were created by the Nazca and the South American plates colliding together creating the Andes Mountains. In Central America the Cocos and North American plate collided together forming the Mexican volcanoes Popcatepetl and Paricutun. In Northern California and all the way to British Columbia the Pacific, Gorda, and the Juan de Fuca plates collided and the Cascade Mountains are the result. The Cascade Mountains are where Mount St. Helens is located. The Alaskan Aleutian Islands are continuing to grow as the Pacific and North American plate hit each other. The Aleutian trench was formed as a result of the two plates colliding. The trench was formed at the subduction zone and is 25,194 feet deep. The collision of the Pacific plate under the Eurasian plate has created the Japanese islands where Mt. Fuji is located. In the last area of the Ring of Fire the Indo-Australian plate goes under the Pacific plate and has created the volcanoes in New Guinea and the Micronesian Islands.The tectonic theory states that the surface of the Earth is made up of gigantic rigid plates that...

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