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November 14, 2017
MAP BY JOE LEMONNIER FOR TIME FOR KIDS

The Ring of Fire is a 25,000-mile-long belt around the Pacific Ocean. It is home to many volcanoes. In fact, three-quarters of the Earth’s volcanoes are here. That’s more than 450 volcanoes! The Ring of Fire sits along the outline of several tectonic (tek-tah-nik) plates. Earthquakes are common here.

Tectonic plates are huge pieces of Earth’s crust. They are like giant puzzle pieces. Most volcanoes form along their edges. The plates are constantly shifting. They move and change position. They pull apart and slide together. This movement creates space between the plates. Magma rises to fill in the space. Bam! A volcano blows its top.