UCSB Science Line
Sponge Spicules Nerve Cells Galaxy Abalone Shell Nickel Succinate X-ray Lens Lupine
UCSB Science Line
How it Works
Ask a Question
Search Topics
Our Scientists
Science Links
Contact Information
Do volcanoes pattern coincide with other geologic events?
Question Date: 2014-06-02
Answer 1:

Absolutely! Volcanoes are most common near the boundaries of Earth's tectonic plates. At these plate boundaries we find almost all of our earthquakes. A dramatic example of this pattern can be seen along the edge of the Pacific Plate (which is dotted with volcanoes and lots of earthquakes), which we call the "Ring of Fire." The West coast of the U.S. is part the Ring of Fire.

Earthquakes and volcanoes along the Ring of Fire can be explained by a process called subduction. Subduction occurs when two tectonic plates collide, and one of them dives below the other into the upper mantle layer. The movement of the "diving" plate produces earthquakes.

Volcanoes occur wherever magma (liquid rock with some solid pieces) erupts onto the Earth's surface, which happens in many places around the world. In a subduction zone, for example, the plate that is "diving" into the mantle can partially melt and create magma. This magma rises through the overlying crust and erupts as a volcano.

Click Here to return to the search form.

University of California, Santa Barbara Materials Research Laboratory National Science Foundation
This program is co-sponsored by the National Science Foundation and UCSB School-University Partnerships
Copyright © 2020 The Regents of the University of California,
All Rights Reserved.
UCSB Terms of Use