GARY HINCKS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY GARY HINCKS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Earth's volcanoes and earthquakes. Map of the Earth, centred on the American continents, showing the location of earthquakes (yellow dots) and volcanoes (red triangles). These are concentrated along the boundaries (red lines) of the tectonic plates that make up the Earth's crust. These tectonic plates move over the molten rock below them, colliding with and moving past, under and over each other. Immense pressures can build up, which are released during an earthquake. Where a plate is being destroyed under another one (seen around the Pacific Ocean), volcanoes form as the molten rock rises to the surface. Volcanoes can also form at isolated hotspots, such as Hawaii.
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