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The Pacific Ring of Fire (or just The Ring of Fire) is an area where large numbers of earthquakes and volcanic eruptions occur in the basin of the Pacific Ocean. In a 40,000 km (25,000 mi) horseshoe shape, it is associated with a nearly continuous series of oceanic trenches, volcanic arcs, and volcanic belts and/or plate movements. The Ring of Fire has 452 volcanoes and is home to over 75% of the world’s active and dormant volcanoes. It is sometimes called the circum-Pacific belt or the circum-Pacific seismic belt.

About 90% of the world’s earthquakes and 89% of the world’s largest earthquakes occur along the Ring of Fire.

The Ring of Fire is a direct result of plate tectonics as massive plates of earth collide and scrape against each other.

[Via the USGS]