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STEM Education: The Ring of Fire STEM

“The Ring of Fire” is a fitting name for the belt on the edge of the Pacific Ocean, where the movement of the earth plates causes frequent earthquakes and volcanic eruptions. The zone is also known as the “Circum-Pacific Belt”.

Most of the volcanoes and earthquakes on Earth take place along the ring of fire. The region is vulnerable to the destructive force of the tsunami.

The Ring of Fire spans 40,000 kilometers and approximately 90% of the earthquakes occur in this zone.

In most places, seismic activity is due to subduction. When stone is removed, it melts and becomes magma. So much magma near the surface of the earth creates the perfect conditions for volcanic activity.

The border between the Pacific and North American plates is an exception. In this section of the fire ring, the plates move past one another laterally. This “transformation boundary” creates a large number of earthquakes when tensions build up in the earth’s crust and are released.

Related Reading: Volcanic Eruptions and Climate; plate tectonics

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