Required fields are marked *. When plates converge and subduction occurs, the subducting plate releases volatiles (such as water and carbon dioxide) and these volatiles lower the solidus temperature and the mantle melts. The devastating earthquake caused by activity in the subduction zone is an earthquake of Aceh magnitude of 9.1 in 2004. It would also explain the abundance of hot springs in Japan. Why Japan have so many earthquakes? Most rocks on Earth actually melt because of a sudden change in pressure. Some large conventional bombs from World War II reached 2.5, the equivalent of 5.6 metric tons of TNT. This may be counter-intuitive: we usually think of water as something that puts fire out, not something that melts rocks. 'Adiabatic decompression melting' makes so much more sense than 'lava escapes from the mantle!'. All that hot air has to escape somehow. earthquake, subduction zone, volcano Earthquakes cause tsunamis when the movement of the seafloor is enough to move large amounts of water. Click to view larger. The movement of the plates- especially if sudden- has the potential to create very large earthquakes. Worldwide earthquake distribution. Due to its position on the tectonic plates and within the Ring of Fire, Japan has a lot of earthquakes. A common misconception is that rocks melt because they are heated. If you are planning for a visit, you should know why the country experiences so many earthquakes and how the … Japan is an especially interesting case because its plate tectonics involve a junction of four different tectonic plates: the Pacific Plate, Phillippine Plate, Okhotsk Plate and Eurasian Plate. Japan is situatedalong the world's most active earthquake belt, the Pacific Ring of Fire, whererigid plates in the Earth's crust collide along the rim of the Pacific Ocean. As a result, the quake killed approximately 142,800 people. Why are there Earthquakes and Volcanoes in Japan? The andesites of Glencoe , Scotland long predate any currently extant ocean floor, but look like a similar story. Click to view larger. This blog We do shake in Japan….a lot. This is the only earthquake besides the Great Kanto Earthquake to kill over 100,000 people, and considering Japan’s population was less than half of what it was in 1923, this is all the more shocking. Knowing this, you can get a sense of the incredible power released by the 2011 Tohoku Earthquake that rated a 9.0. Let’s say that melting a rock requires 1200 °C but the ambient temperature is only 900 °C. Some are strong enough to be felt on one or more of the islands. When the subducting plate is heated as it plunges into the hot, deep mantle, these volatiles are released and travel upwards since they are buoyant. Volcanoes, earthquakes, tsunamis - natural disasters have been occurring continuously since the beginning of the year, causing a lot of damage both human and material. In the normal case, the solidus and the geotherm do not cross and no melting (and thus no volcanism) is produced. April 7, 2012 Daven Hiskey 2 comments. If earthquakes occur below or close to the ocean, they may trigger tidal waves (tsunami). NOAA’s Pacific Tsunami Warning Center. Here is a figure showing that Japan is part of a greater subduction zone called the Pacific “Ring of Fire”: But why is there volcanism above a subduction zone? Instead, we know that the land that forms Japan was once attached to the eastern part of Eurasia in what is present-day China. Simply put, there is so much earthshaking in Japan because the Japanese islands are part of a volcanic island arc. So, at mid-ocean ridges- places where tectonic plates move apart and rocks are able to move upwards quickly- rocks melt because of adiabatic decompression melting. Image taken from, Plate boundaries, subduction zones, and volcanoes in the Pacific “Ring of Fire.” Figure taken from, Excellent diagram showing the three ways that melts are produced on Earth. Since four plates are involved in the formation of Japan, it makes a complex folded structure kind of like when you close a cardboard box without any tape. Please could you give me a paragraph explaining very clearly why Japan has so many volcanoes as it is for my geography essay, I have already done earthquakes so I don't need anything on earthquakes just volcanoes :) xx. Unfortunately, these natural disasters are more predictable because they rely on atmospheric weather, which itself is regulated by the Earth’s regular seasons. Well, this relates to a fundamental concept in geology- why do rocks melt? Though they move slowly, just 3-5 centimeters per year, their enormous size gives them incredible force, momentum and power.
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