20 Ring of Fire Facts: Tectonic Plates, Alternate Name and Weird Facts

by Sankalan Baidya
Ring of Fire Facts

We weren’t quite done with the Pacific Ring of Fire facts in our last article. In that article, we answered a few question like what it is and why it is so called. We also talked about the countries included in the Pacific Ring of Fire and how big it is. But, we didn’t address these questions:

  • Which tectonic plates are in action in Ring of Fire?
  • Which are the major volcanic activities and earthquakes related to Ring of Fire?
  • What is the alternate name of Ring of Fire?
  • What are some weird facts about the Ring of Fire?

In this article, we will try and answer those questions one by one. So, continue reading this list of 20 Ring of Fire facts. Hopefully, you will get some help for your homework.

Ring of Fire Facts: 1-5 | Tectonic Plate Boundaries

1. Which tectonic plates are in action in Ring of Fire? There are several. On the eastern side of the Ring of Fire are three plates – South American Plate, Cocos Plate and Nazca Plate. The South American Plate is moving westward while the Cocos Plate and the Nazca Plate are subducted beneath the South American Plate.

2. Towards Central America, there is the Caribbean Plate beneath which, the Cocos Plate is being subducted.

3. On the western side, the Juan de Fuca Plate (which is a small plate) and a part of Pacific Plate are subducting beneath North American Plate.

4. The Pacific Plate, which is moving northwest, is subducting beneath Aleutian Islands Arc in the northern portion of the Ring of Fire.

5. On the farther west of Ring of Fire, the Pacific Plate is also subducting beneath Kamchatka Peninsula arcs on the south of Japan. The southern side of the Ring of Fire is very complex with several small tectonic plates actually colliding with Pacific Plate from New Zealand, Tonga, Bougainville, Philippines and Marina Islands.

Ring of Fire Facts: 6-10 | Major Volcanic Eruptions and Earthquakes of Ring of Fire

6. Which are the major volcanic activities and earthquakes related to Ring of Fire? To start with, let us state that most of the active volcanoes in Ring of Fire are on its western edge.

7. The active volcanoes run through Russia’s Kamchatka Peninsula through Japan along with southeast Asia and finally down to New Zealand. One of the most active volcanoes in the whole Ring of Fire is New Zealand’s Mount Ruapheu. This volcano gives one major eruption every 50 years and several minor eruptions every single year.

8. Indonesia’s Krakatoa is an island volcano with much less eruption frequency that Mount Ruapheu but far more spectacular. A very devastating explosion of Krakatoa in 1883 destroyed the whole island and rocks, volcanic ash and volcanic gases were hurled 50 miles or 80 kilometers straight up in sky. Ever since that eruption, minor eruptions have been taking place and a new island volcano is taking shape. It is known as Anak Krakatoa.

9. Another active and devastating volcano on the western side of the Ring of Fire is Mount Fuji. It is Japan’s tallest mountain and it sits at a tri-junction – the meeting place of Philippine Plate, Okhotsk Plate and Amur Plate.

10. The last time Mount Fuji erupted was in 1707 on December 16. The eruption was so powerful and so much of tephra (solid volcanic material – volcanic rocks and volcanic ash) was released that 100 kilometers away in the city of Edo (now Tokyo), candles had to be used right in the middle of the day.

Ring of Fire Facts: 11-15 | Major Volcanic Eruptions and Earthquakes of Ring of Fire

11. Even the eastern side of the Ring of Fire has some active volcanoes. For instance, there is Mount St. Helens that, during its 1980’s historic eruption killed 57 people, destroyed property worth USD 1 billion and turned hundreds of miles into nothing but wastelands. The eruption continued for 9 hours and volcanic ash covered 11 states of USA.

12. The most dangerous volcano of the Ring of Fire is Popocatépetl in Trans-Mexican volcanic belt. Since 1519, it has erupted 15 times and as of today, there are 20 million people who are at risk.

13. Ring of Fire is responsible for some of the most devastating earthquakes the world has known. For instance, the Chile earthquake 1960. It had a magnitude of 9.5 and the worst ever earthquake since 1900.

14. The next major one was 1964’s Great Alaska earthquake which had a magnitude of 9.2.

15. 2011 saw one of the most devastating earthquakes in history of this world when Japan was hit by an earthquake of 9.0 magnitude. It killed 15,883 people, 2,652 went missing and 6,194 were injured. That earthquake also led to Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster because of the tsunami that was caused by the earthquake.

Ring of Fire Facts: 16-20 | Alternate Name and Weird Facts

16. The Ring of Fire also goes by a different name. It is known as the Circum-Pacific Belt[/highlight].

17. Here are some weird Ring of Fire facts: 10% of all volcanic activities in world actually take place in Japan, which sits on western edge of the Ring of Fire.

18. The Pacific Plate, which see some major tectonic activities in the Ring of Fire is cooling off. Scientists have found out that the parts of the plate which are younger (only 2 million years old – approximately) are contracting and cooling faster than the older parts (about 100 million years old).

19. Ring of Fire has several hot spots. These are the places from where the heat from mantle rises. This heat is responsible for magma creation in upper brittle portions of mantle. However, these hot spots are not associated with tectonic plate movement or interaction and hence, they are not considered by some geologists as part of Ring of Fire.

20. Most of the active volcanoes in Ring of Fire are underwater volcanoes with the deepest volcano on record being West Mata that sits at a depth of 1100 meters or 3609 feet.

Sources: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6

Image Credit: By USGS – http://pubs.usgs.gov/publications/text/slabs.html, Public Domain, Link

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1 comment

tommy January 15, 2019 - 1:37 am

it is the best website i ever read you people are awesome


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