Ring of Fire (noun, “RING OF FYE-er”)
This term describes an area on Earth that holds most of the world’s earthquake sites and active volcanoes. The Ring of Fire gets its name from all of the volcanoes that lie along this belt. Roughly 75 percent of the world’s volcanoes are located here, many underwater. This area is also a hub of seismic activity, or earthquakes. Ninety percent of earthquakes occur in this zone.
The Ring of Fire stretches about 40,000 kilometers (24,900 miles). It is located on the edges of the Pacific Ocean. This belt sits atop places where many of the Earth’s tectonic plates meet. Tectonic plates are enormous pieces of the Earth’s outer layer. Some plates are as big — or even bigger than — entire continents. These plates can move, rubbing up against each other or one sliding below another. This slipping and sliding can produce earthquakes and volcanoes.
Sometimes eruptions and earthquakes happen within a few days in distant places along the Ring of Fire. That doesn’t mean that their activity is linked. An earthquake or volcano in one place doesn’t trigger other ones far away.
In a sentence
The Ring of Fire is home to many of the world’s volcanoes.