39 Blazing Hot Facts About The Ring Of Fire! Active Volcanoes Revealed | Kidadl

FOR AGES 3 YEARS TO 18 YEARS

39 Blazing Hot Facts About The Ring Of Fire! Active Volcanoes Revealed

Arts & Crafts
Learn more
Reading & Writing
Learn more
Math & Logic
Learn more
Sports & Active
Learn more
Music & Dance
Learn more
Social & Community
Learn more
Mindful & Reflective
Learn more
Outdoor & Nature
Learn more
Read these Tokyo facts to learn all about the Japanese capital.

The Ring of Fire sure sounds like a game you would play on a beach, but it isn't really a fun place to be!

In spite of the fact that Ferdinand Magellan gave the Pacific Ocean such a peaceful name, the Pacific Ring of Fire houses some of the world's most dangerous volcanoes! Lined with tectonic plate boundaries and the most dangerous active volcanoes in the world, the Pacific Ring of Fire is regarded as the birthplace of the vast majority of the earthquakes that take place on this planet.

With over 400 volcanoes found in the region, the Ring of Fire is vast and scary. It consists of volcanoes that exist over and under sea level, threatening mankind with varying amounts of danger. Keep reading to know more facts about the Ring of Fire and the regions that it includes!

The Geographical Location Of The Ring Of Fire

As much as we can hope for the Ring of Fire to not be nearly as intimidating as it sounds, it really is one of the most destructive places on Earth. The Ring of Fire is a horseshoe-shaped chain in the Pacific Ocean that is filled with active volcanoes, tectonic plate boundaries, and earthquake epicenters.

  • The Ring of Fire is the hub of many of the natural disasters that take place on Earth and should not be taken lightly. The name, however, originates from the active volcanoes that are present throughout the entire chain. Volcanic eruptions throw magma out of the Earth's core, leading to the 'fire' part of the name.
  • One of the most interesting facts about the Ring of Fire is that it is not actually a ring at all! It is shaped like a horseshoe and bears no resemblance to a circle or ring whatsoever. If your question is why it is called the Pacific Ring of Fire and not the Pacific horseshoe of fire, your answer lies in the question itself. Horse-shoe of fire is simply not as catchy as Pacific Ring of Fire!
  • The Ring of Fire is quite large and is composed of the borders of many islands and continents. It has a length of 24,854.8 mi (40,000 km) which is enough to tell us how vast it is. Hence, the Ring of Fire does not put just the people of a single part of the world in danger. It passes through the Indian-Australian plate, the South American plate, the North American plate, and the Pacific plate!
  • The dangerous volcanoes that are a part of the Ring of Fire, along with the tectonic plates that make up the ring, can be found in Tonga, the Philippines, the New Hebrides, the Kuril Islands, and the western coast of North America. It originates from the southern tip of South America and then passes across the Bering Strait. It passes through Japan and goes into New Zealand as well.
  • One of the reasons why Japan has faced some of the worst cases of earthquakes is simply that plate tectonics result in the collision of plates in the area. An earthquake takes place when two plates collide with each other. The impact is felt less and less as you move away from the epicenter, and it increases exponentially towards the point of the origin of the earthquake.
  • Plate tectonics means that Japan is often the epicenter, and hence, the impact is felt most dearly by the population around the region. However, Japan is not where the most dangerous and strongest earthquakes have taken place. The site for the strongest earthquake to ever be recorded in human history was Chile. In 1960, the Valdivia earthquake took place, which shook the Earth with an intensity of 9.5 on the Richter scale. This continues to be recognized as the worst earthquake ever, even after so many years!
  • The Ring of Fire rests on the Pacific plate, which is the largest tectonic plate on Earth. Interestingly, the Pacific Ocean was named after the peace and serenity that Ferdinand Magellan felt when he was around this beautiful water body. It is ironic that the same Pacific Ocean can be linked with so many of Earth's natural disasters!
  • The plate tectonics of the Pacific Ring of Fire affect many places around the world, such as the west coast of the US, Russia, Japan, Mexico, Canada, Taiwan, Guatemala, the Philippines, Papua New Guinea, Peru, and Chile.

Why is it called the Ring of Fire?

If you have been wondering why this volcano-lined chain in the Pacific Ocean is called the Ring of Fire, the reason is quite simple. Many volcanoes in the ring are active and have erupted in the recent past, spitting out magma and lava onto the Earth's crust.

  • This lava is known to have burned the vegetation and colonies around the dangerous volcano region, which is why the word 'fire' is associated with the high volcanic activity of the Pacific Ocean. As far as the 'ring' is concerned, the landmasses that have the volcanoes in the Ring of Fire, as well as the zones that are usually epicenters of earthquakes, are arranged in a circular fashion in the Pacific Ocean. Although, it must be noted that there is no place where the circle links. The structure that is formed is more of a horseshoe. Although, 'Ring of Fire' sounds better than 'horseshoe of fire', and the name stuck with people.
  • The Pacific Ring of Fire (or the circum-Pacific belt) came into existence as a result of plate tectonics. Plate tectonics refers to the constant moving of the tectonic plates that lie under the Earth's crust. Since the tectonic plates are in constant motion, they often collide with each other. When two tectonic plates collide, we feel tremors on the Earth's surface, and there is a definite bending of the subducting plate.
  • The intensity of the tremors felt by us is evaluated through the Richter scale. Due to the movement of tectonic plates, a subduction zone is created through the destruction of the lithospheric plates both around and under the Pacific Ocean. Each subduction zone gave rise to a volcano. If you are wondering how a subduction zone can be found even under the Pacific Ocean and why we only see volcanoes on its borders, the simple answer is that the volcanoes that we see aren't all that there actually are. Many of the volcanoes actually exist under sea level!
  • The Ring of Fire is known to surround many tectonic plates. Examples of such plates would be the Juan de Fuca plate, Cocos plate, and the Nazca plate. When the tectonic boundaries of two plates collide, a subduction zone is formed, which then develops into a site for volcanic events. Ocean trenches are also found in the Pacific Ring of Fire. These ocean trenches, such as the Mariana trench, are also formed in subduction zones. The subduction zones are basically formed where two plates meet and are also known as fault lines.
In case you have been wondering, it is not at all safe to live on the Ring of Fire!

The Physical Features Of The Ring Of Fire

The Ring of Fire is made of many tectonic plates. In South America, the Antarctic plate and Nazca plate get subducted. These plates were subducted under the South American plate. The Cocos plate is moving under the Caribbean plate in Central America.

  • Referring to the North American plate, the Pacific Plate and the plate of Juan de Fuca are getting subducted into it. A part of the Pacific plate is also subducting under the Aleutian islands. On the western edge, the subduction of the Pacific plate is taking place under the Kamchatka peninsula and Kuril arcs.
  • The Eurasian plate is the site where the Philippine plate is getting subducted. These landmasses are therefore in constant motion, and depending on the pace of the tectonic activities, a collision with another plate can be dangerous.
  • At the same time, the subduction zones are also sites for the formation of volcanoes. The plates subduct under each other to either form volcanoes or ocean trenches. For example, the Anak Krakatoa volcano is located in Indonesia and has been spewing ashes, smoke, magma, and fire regularly. It is located under where the Indian-Australian and Eurasian plates converge.
  • There are two types of volcanoes in the Pacific Ring of Fire. There are active volcanoes and dormant or inactive ones. Active volcanoes are ones that exhibit frequent volcanic eruptions and can be known as the most dangerous ones. Interestingly, the Pacific Ring of Fire is home to around 75% of the world's active volcanoes.
  • One of the lesser-known facts is that Mount Fuji, located in Japan, is also a part of the Pacific Ring of Fire. In fact, Mount Fuji is an active volcano and shows volcanic activity on a regular basis. The last time the volcano erupted was in the year 1707.
  • The Mariana Trench is the deepest ocean trench on the planet and is a product of the subduction of the Pacific plate.
  • In addition to being home to many of the active volcanoes of the world, the Ring of Fire is also to be held responsible for around 90% of the earthquakes that take place on this planet. Earthquakes are common in this region since the Pacific plate itself shares fault lines with many continental plates.
  • Furthermore, these continental plates share boundaries with other plates. The Ring of Fire is therefore known not only as a place where you need to be on the lookout for volcanic activity or an eruption but also earthquakes. Most of the dangerous earthquakes that have taken place on the planet in the past few centuries can be directly linked with the Pacific Ring of Fire.
  • Some of the disasters that have taken place in the recent past, which can be traced back to a place located in the Pacific Ring of Fire, are the Indian Ocean tsunami in the year 2004, the earthquakes in San Francisco in the year 1906, and the Krakatoa eruption in the year 1883.

Regions Included In The Ring Of Fire

The Pacific Ring of Fire consists of an extensive area, and it can be quite difficult to understand its full expanse.

  • The land areas that the Pacific Ring of Fire passes through are Antarctica, the Andes Mountains, the Central American volcanic arc, North American Cordillera, the Aleutian Islands, Kamchatka peninsula, the Kuril Islands, Japan, the Ryukyu Islands, the Aleutian arc, Taiwan, the Philippine mobile belt, the Izu Islands, the Bonin Islands, the Mariana Islands, the Sunda arc, the lesser Sunda Islands, the Tanimbar and Kai Islands, Bismarck archipelago, the New Hebrides, Papua New Guinea, Indonesia, Bougainville Island, Solomon Islands, Fiji, the Tonga Islands, the Kermadec Islands and the Taupo volcanic zone.
  • The Ring of Fire and its sheer expanse are also solidified by its specifications. The Ring of Fire is 310.7 mi (500 km) wide and 24,854.8 mi (40,000 km) in length. It is therefore evident that the Ring of Fire is no small region. It consists of active and dormant volcanoes, tectonic plate boundaries, and trenches. The volcanoes that meet the eye are not the only ones in the Ring of Fire. It even has underwater volcanoes!
  • There is nothing relieving about underwater volcanoes since they are just as harmful and dangerous to the ecosystem. About 452 dormant and active volcanoes are located in the Ring of Fire, which tells us a lot about whether or not the Ring of Fire is something to be excited about.

Did You Know...

  • The Ring of Fire goes through 15 different countries!
  • 90% of the earthquakes that occur on planet Earth are due to the Ring of Fire!
  • The San Andreas Fault in the United States of America is one of the country's most dreaded zones for the frequency at which earthquakes take place!
  • Volcanoes can be either active or dormant.
  • Dormant volcanoes are less scary than active ones since they do not erupt.
  • Active volcanoes are capable of eruption in the future.
  • The Ring of Fire actually takes after the shape of a horseshoe.
  • Mount Fuji is actually one of the most dangerous volcanoes in the world.
  • There is no actual connection between the volcanoes in the Ring of Fire. The eruption from one volcano does not set off another.
  • The moving of plates over each other makes a new crust.
  • The deepest volcano known to us is the West Mata, located in the Pacific Ring of Fire.
  • The Mount Ruapehu of New Zealand is the most active volcano in the Pacific Ring of Fire.
  • The Ring of Fire is 35 million years old!
Written By
Shirin Biswas

Shirin is a writer at Kidadl. She previously worked as an English teacher, and as an editor at Quizzy. While working at Big Books Publishing, she edited study guides for children. Shirin has a degree in English from Amity University, Noida, and has won awards for oratory, acting, and creative writing.

Read The Disclaimer

Was this article helpful?

DMCA.com Protection Status