Pacific Ring of Fire

Introduction
The Pacific Ring of Fire has more exploding volcanoes and great earthquakes than any other place on Earth. This 25,000 mile ribbon of land and water is home to 75% of the world's active and dormant volcanoes. Earthquakes are common in the the Ring of Fire where 80% of the great earthquakes occur on our planet.

Ring of Fire, USGS

Ring of Fire around the Pacific Ocean, USGS

Pacific Northwest Cascadia Subduction zone
The Ring of Fire volcanoes that surround the Pacific Ocean formed at convergent boundaries. The Cascadia Subduction Zone in the Pacific Northwest has experience large earthquakes in the past and scientists believe another could occur in the future. 

Shrinking Pacific Plate
Tectonic plate movement occurs as the Pacific Plate becomes smaller in subduction zones. The Pacific Plate is older and heavier than the surrounding plates. At these convergent boundaries subduction zones develop leading to great composite volcanoes on the landward side of the subduction zones.

Alaska's Aleutian Islands
The Aleutian Islands are an island arc of volcanic islands that have formed as the Pacific Plate subducts beneath the North American Plate in the north Pacific Ocean. The Aleutian trench separates the Pacific Plate from the North American Plate in this area.

Dangerous Alaskan volcanoes
The island arc of volcanoes continues and forms a volcanic arc on the mainland area of Alaska.  Famous and dangerous volcanoes include Mt. Spurr and Redoubt Volcano in this part of Alaska.

San Andreas Fault
The San Andreas Fault lies on the Ring of Fire and is a strike slip fault. This type of fault is also known as a transform fault. The Challenger Deep in the Mariana Trench is also located on the Pacific Ring of Fire.

More Pacific Ring of Fire Links

Cascadia Subduction Zone Learn more about the Cascadia Subduction Zone in the Pacific Northwest where a great earthquake could occur at any time.

2010 Chilean Earthquake Another megathrust earthquake struck Chile in 2010. Find out why these earthquakes occur so frequently there.

Island Arcs  Island arcs are a string of volcanic islands in the ocean. Find out more about these islands in the Pacific Ocean.

Strike Slip Fault Learn more about strike slip faults that are boundaries between crustal plates including the San Andreas Fault.


Subduction Zones Find out why the Pacific Ring of Fire has so many subduction zones. 

Aleutian Trench Learn more about this long trench which parallels the Aleutian Islands.

Tectonic Plate Movement Find out about tectonic plate movement and how it relates to the Theory of Plate Tectonics

Redoubt Volcano Learn more about redoubt volcano located on the Cook Inlet of Alaska.


Volcanic Arcs Find out how and where volcanic arcs form on the Pacific Ring of Fire.

Ring of Fire Volcanoes Learn more about the Ring of Fire volcanoes that form in subduction zones.

Convergent Boundaries Learn how convergent boundaries have created the Ring of Fire in the Pacific Ocean.

Mt. Spurr Find out more about Mt. Spurr which is the tallest peak in the Aleutian Volcanic Arc.


Challenger Deep Learn more about the deepest point on the ocean floor that lies seven miles beneath the ocean's surface.

Composite Volcano Learn more about these towering mountains that form on the continents near subduction zones.

Pacific Ring of Fire Learn more about the Ring of Fire which is home to towering volcanoes and great earthquakes.

Kids Fun Science The links on our home page include information about volcanoes, science activities, plate tectonics, the rock cycle and much more