Aleutian Trench

The Aleutian Trench forms the border between the North American Plate to the north and the Pacific Plate on the south side of the Aleutian Islands. It formed as the heavier Pacific Plate converged with the North American Plate forcing the Pacific's oceanic plate into the mantle.

Aleutian trench, NOAA

The Aleutian Islands have formed on the
continental side of the trench. NOAA

Size of the trench
The trench between the Pacific Plate and the North American Plate is 2,200 miles long. It is between 50 and 100 miles wide and reaches depths of 25,000 feet in some places. The Aleutian Islands have formed on the continental side of the fault zone.

Formation of volcanic islands
The Pacific Plate is moving beneath the North American plate at a 45 degree angle. A string of volcanic islands have formed on the north side of the trench, which is the continental size of the subduction zone.

Triple crustal plate junctions 
Both ends of the trench end at a triple junction where three crustal plates meet. The trench runs from the southeast coast of Alaska to the Kamchatka Peninsula.

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Volcanic arc of islands
A line of volcanoes have formed parallel to the trench. The volcanoes in the North Pacific have formed an island arc. These volcanoes make up the Aleutian Islands.

Formation of volcanoes
Some of the volcanoes parallel to the trench are on the Alaska Peninsula forming a volcanic arc of stratovolcanoes. Redoubt Volcano, Mt. Spurr and Katmai Volcano are three volcanoes that are part of this section of the Aleutian Arc.

More Pacific Ring of Fire Volcanoes

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.

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

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.

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