The Andean Volcanic Belt is a major volcanic belt along the South American coast. The Ring of Fire is an area in the Pacific Ocean basin where earthquakes and volcanic eruptions occur due to the movement and collision of lithospheric tectonic plates.
Plate Tectonics / Volcanism
The Caribbean Plate is a mostly oceanic tectonic plate underlying much of Central America and the Caribbean Sea off the north coast of South America. These borders are regions of intense seismic activity, including frequent earthquakes and volcanic eruptions.
The Central America Volcanic Arc is a chain of volcanic formations that extend from Guatemala to Northern Panama, parallel to the Pacific coastline of the Central American Isthmus. They range from major stratovolcanoes to lava domes and cinder cones.
The Chile Triple Junction is a geologic triple junction located on the seafloor of the Pacific Ocean off Taitao and Tres Montes Peninsula on the southern coast of Chile. Here three tectonic plates meet: the South American Plate, the Nazca Plate and the Antarctic Plate.
The Cocos Plate is a tectonic plate beneath the Pacific Ocean off the west coast of Central America. It is named for Cocos Island, which is the only emergent island of the plate.
The Lesser Antilles Volcanic Arc forms the eastern boundary of the Caribbean Plate. This subduction process formed a number of volcanic islands, from the Virgin Islands in the north to the islands off the coast of Venezuela in the south.
The Middle America Trench is a major subduction zone, an oceanic trench in the eastern Pacific Ocean off the coast of Central America. It can be divided into a northern section called the Acapulco Trench and a southern section called the Guatemala Trench.
The Nazca Plate is an oceanic tectonic plate in the southeastern Pacific Ocean off the west coast of South America. Its subduction beneath South America is responsible for the Andes Mountains. The Galápagos hotspot is responsible for the Galápagos Islands.
The North American Plate is a tectonic plate that underlies much of North America and Central America as well as part of the Caribbean Sea. It shares a boundary with the Pacific and Cocos Plates in the west and the Caribbean Plate in the south.
The Pacific Plate is an oceanic tectonic plate, made up almost entirely of oceanic crust, that lies beneath the Pacific Ocean. At an estimated 40,000,000 sq miles in size, it is Earth's largest tectonic plate.
The Peru–Chile Trench, also known as the Atacama Trench, is an oceanic trench in the eastern Pacific Ocean off the coast of Peru and Chile. It delineates the boundary between the subducting Nazca Plate and the overriding South American Plate.