World: Tectonic Plates, Earthquakes & Volcanoes

How are the tectonic plates related to earthquakes and volcanoes?  This interactive relief and bathymetric map reveals tectonic plates, as well as world-wide earthquakes and volcanoes. By looking at each you can see a positive correlation between all three. Touch "Composite" button to put it all together.


VIEW the interactive in a separate tab, by clicking on "Open Resource". (Note some browsers lack the plugins for rollovers.)

OR click Download All.  AFTER downloading, you can Open either:

  •  by using Flash player, or
  •  by clicking File > Open from within your browser, find the file on your computer, and it should open as an interactive file. 


  • Earthquakes line up along tectonic plate boundaries
  • Volcanoes are parallel to, and close to plate boundaries
  • The contact between the plates undergoes 3 F's: Forces, Faults, and Friction, which is what causes the earthquakes.
  • The volcanoes are found where plates oceanic plates are diving beneath another plate, thus they are close to (~100 km away from) convergent plate boundaries.

Level: Novice

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