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Infographic – The Earth’s Converging Plates

Map: converging tectonic plates

Click on image for full-size view (Statista)

11 Feb. 2023. The catastrophic earthquakes in Turkey and Syria this week reminds us of the earth’s underlying dynamics that sometimes results in enormous destruction and loss of life. Among the forces beneath the earth’s surface are the movements of tectonic plates, large shifting and sliding slabs of rock, where at their boundaries most earthquakes and volcanoes occur.

The business research company Statista on Thursday mapped the locations of tectonic plates colliding with each other, called convergent plate boundaries. At these boundaries, say geologists, earthquakes are deep and powerful. In this week’s earthquakes, the Anatolian plate that includes Turkey and Syria is particularly prone to seismic activity, due to convergence with the Eurasian plate to the north, Arabian plate to the east, and African plate to the south.

Another line of converging tectonic plate boundaries lies around the Pacific rim, the so-called ring of fire, where the Pacific plate contacts the Australian, Eurasian, North American, and South American plates. Those plate boundaries are the sites of many volcanoes and earthquakes, ranging from very mild to major, with fault lines running through some of the world’s most densely populated regions.

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