Pacific ring of fire
The Pacific ring of fire (also Circumpazifischer Feuergürtel or Circumpazifischer Feuerring ; English: Pacific ring of fire ) is a volcanic belt that surrounds the Pacific Ocean on three sides. At least two thirds of all volcanoes that erupted in the Holocene can be found there. Strong earthquakes also occur more frequently along this ring. These sometimes trigger the tsunamis typical of the Pacific .
The Pacific Ring of Fire is not a closed ring. It surrounds the Pacific in an inverted U-shape from the east, north and west over a length of about 40,000 kilometers. It stretches in the east from the southern tip of South America over the Andes and the western edge of Central and North America, including the Cascade Mountains . In the north and west it runs along a series of island arches and continental volcanic arches, starting with the Aleutian Islands, continuing through Kamchatka and the Kuril Islands , the main Japanese and Ryūkyū Islands , as well as the Mariana Islands , the Philippines , New Guinea , the Solomon Islands and the New Hebrides to the North Island of New Zealand with the Taupo Volcanic Zone .
The Pacific Ring of Fire is directly related to the subduction zones at the corresponding edges of the Pacific Basin. On these, the Pacific lithospheric plates with oceanic crust ( Pacific plate , Juan de Fuca plate , Cocos plate , Nazca plate ) submerge under several other lithospheric plates with either oceanic or continental crust . At greater depths, the water bound in the crustal rock is released by pressure and heat and lowers the melting point of the rock in the upper mantle ( asthenosphere ), causing it to partially melt. The resulting magma rises, differentiates and creates a typical, mostly explosive volcanism. Tensions that build up in the earth's crust as a result of subduction are discharged in the form of e.g. Sometimes very severe earthquakes.
- Ring of fire at the USGS (English)