Explain how plate tectonics can help our understanding of the distribution of either earthquakes or volcanic eruptions.

Topics: Plate tectonics, Convergent boundary, Volcano Pages: 1 (337 words) Published: February 24, 2014
Explain how plate tectonics can help our understanding of the distribution of either earthquakes or volcanic eruptions. Plate tectonics can help us understand the distribution of earthquakes and volcanoes very easily, it is recorded that main earthquake and volcanic zones are clustered along plate boundaries and more powerful ones are near destructive and conservative plate boundaries. Over time we have learnt that earthquakes that occur on a constructive plate boundary cause little hazard to people, earthquakes that occur on two oceanic plates that are moving apart are usually shallow and have low-magnitude. This is similar to volcanic eruptions on constructive boundaries; the volcanoes along these boundaries are usually on the sea floor so they don’t become a major hazard to people. They only become a problem when they emerge above the sea level and start to form islands, such as Iceland. Both earthquakes and volcanoes that occur along a destructive boundary cause a problem for people. Collision of an oceanic plate and continental plate can cause a range of earthquakes, shallow, intermediate and deep. Pressure that is released from these two plates cause the earth’s surface is shake violently. This will be a hazard for people living along coastlines, and has proved to be a major hazard for countries like the Philippines. Collision of two continental plates can cause highly damaging earthquakes and affect a wider area, not just coastlines, especially in countries such as India and Iran. Past records show that 80% of the world’s active volcanoes are positioned along destructive plate boundaries, two continental plates colliding are able to form volcanoes, like the Soufriére Hills in Montserrat, West Indies for example. This volcano was created by two continental boundaries colliding. When an oceanic plate collides with a continental plate explosive volcanoes are formed, creating a major hazard for people living in coastal areas. By looking at plate tectonics...
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