Where Earthquakes Occur
The Earth is made up of many tectonic plates that slowly move as a result of seismic activity. The area where two tectonic plates touch is called the plate boundary, and earthquakes occur most often along these borders. There are four types of plate boundaries shown in color on the draggable globe below.
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Divergent - where new crust is generated as the plates pull away from each other
Convergent - where crust is destroyed as one plate dives under another
Transform - where crust is neither produced nor destroyed as the plates slide horizontally past each other
Plate boundary zones - broad belts whose boundaries are not well defined and the effects of plate interaction are unclear







Globe courtesy of Steve Reynolds and Julia Johnson, Arizona State University