Plate tectonics refers to the scientific theory stating that the lithosphere is always on a constant motion. This movement occurs in a large mass and is based on the plate tectonic theory which was put forward by scientists in the early twentieth century (Diller 2001).
Plate tectonics has led to the separation of the sea floor over the years and the earth is composed of seven tectonic plates according to the available geological information. The boundaries of the moving plates are always characterised by earthquakes, mountain formation or volcanic activities depending on whether the relative movement between them is convergent, divergent or transformational (Condie 2007).
Volcanism is the process by which molten rock material also known as magma moves out of the Earth’s interior due to high pressure and stress to the surface through fissures. Magma can either be viscous or less viscous and this dictates its effect when it reaches the Earth’s surface. Highly viscous magma leads to the formation of steep volcanoes that are characterised by explosive eruptions while less viscous magma spreads on the surface leading to the formation of gently sloping features known as the plateaus and plains (Barber 2005).
Earthquakes are sudden movements of the earth’s crust due to pressure from the Earth‘s interior. The region where the earthquake originates from before it reaches the Earth’s surface is known as the epicentre.
Another common term is seismicity which refers to how frequently a place experiences an earthquake and the magnitude with which such an earthquake occurs. The magnitude of an earthquake is measured on the richer scale, where a magnitude of 3 and below is considered weak, while that of 7 and above is stronger and more destructive (Asantville 2009).
Ring of fire is a place that is prone to earthquakes and volcanic activities. The Pacific ring of fire is a region shaped like a horseshoe which is located in the Pacific Ocean. It is characterised by ocean trenches and is home to the world’s most deadly and active volcanoes (Nemeth 2012).
Asantville, Adam. Geology. New York: Gareth Stevens Pub, 2009. Print.
Barber, Adams. Sumatra: Geology, Resources and Tectonic Evolution. London: The Geological Society, 2005. Print.
Condie, Kent. Plate Tectonics and Crustal Evolution. Oxford: Butterworth Heinemann, 2007. Print.
Diller, James. A Late Volcanic Eruption in Northern California and Its Peculiar Lava. Washington: Govt. Print, 2001. Print.
Nemeth, Jason. Plate Tectonics. New York: Power Kids Press, 2012. Print.