A convergent plate boundary is formed by tectonic plates crashing into each other. Convergent boundaries are often subduction zones, where the heavier plate slips under the lighter plate.
- Subduction zones are frequently sites of volcanoes, as the heavier plate melts back into the Earth’s mantle.
- Subduction is when one plate is forced beneath another.
- On average the subduction zones see plate movement of up to 10 centimeters per year.
A divergent boundary is formed by tectonic plates pulling apart from each other. Divergent boundaries are the site of seafloor spreading. Seafloor spreading is the process of magma welling up in the rift as the old crust pulls itself in opposite directions. Cold seawater cools the magma, creating new crust.
A transform boundary is formed by two tectonic plates sliding next to each other. Transform boundaries are often the site of earthquakes in the Ring of Fire.
The Ring of Fire is the result of plate tectonics. The edges of several tectonic plates meet along the Ring of Fire, resulting in a convergent boundary, a divergent boundary, or a transform boundary.