Circle of Fire
The "Circle of Fire" (also known as the "Ring of Fire") is the belt of volcanoes dotting the lands along the edges of the Pacific Ocean. It follows the west coast of the Americas from Chile to Alaska, through the Andes Mountains, Central America, Mexico, California, the Cascade Mountains, and the Aleutian Islands. It continues down the east coast of Asia from Siberia to New Zealand, through Kamchatka, the Kurile Islands, Japan, the Philippines, Celebes, New Guinea, the Solomon Islands, and New Caledonia. Of the 850 active volcanoes in the world, more than 75 percent of them are part of the Circle of Fire.
The Earth's crust is composed of 15 pieces, called plates, which "float" on the partially molten layer below them. Most volcanoes, earthquakes, and mountain ranges occur along the unstable plate boundaries.