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SAINT THOMAS PRODUCTIONS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY SAINT THOMAS PRODUCTIONS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Animation showing the location of the Pacific Ring of Fire. The Ring of Fire is a long thin strip of volcanoes that encircles the Pacific Ocean, formed by the tectonic plates underlying the Pacific Ocean subducting below the continental plates around them. The subduction pushes plate material deep into the Earth, melting it and causing magma to rise to the surface, forming volcanoes. Not all the plate boundaries in the ring see subduction, for instance the southernmost Pacific-Antarctic boundary is a divergent boundary.
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