Macro-Geology - Building

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Earthquakes ==> Mountain-Builders


Perhaps the most-famous earthquake area in the United States is California, and the San Andreas Fault is undoubtedly the most-familiar fault.  For more information about this fault go the San Andreas Fault Organization’s website by clicking HERE.

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The “Ring of Fire”


Volcanoes are openings in the Earth’s crust that  allow molten rock and gasses to escape into Earth’s atmosphere, onto it’s surface, and under the oceans.  Volcanic eruptions are sudden events that are difficult to precisely predict.  Eruptions often make the news, especially when they are near populated areas.  Many will be familiar with Mt. St. Helens, Mt. Etna, and possibly Krakatoa, the volcano that produced what is thought to be the loudest noise ever on Earth.  See Wikipedia for more information on volcanoes.


Most volcanoes are  near subduction zones (see Tectonics on previous page).  The Pacific Ocean is ringed by subduction zones and volcanoes.  It is known as The Ring of Fire (see the map below)

For more info on earthquakes, try this website:

Macro-Geology can be explained in two broad categories:  Building, or Depositional, and Tearing Down.  Building includes activities such as volcanoes, earthquakes, silting in rivers and of course plate tectonics discussed on the previous page.  Tearing down is another way to look at erosion.  The erosion agents of water and wind create some of our favorite places, for instance the Grand Canyon and Mammoth Cave.

Build It Up, Tear It DownText Box: To learn more about the Building processes, read on below
Text Box: To learn more about the Tearing Down processes, click in this box.

Earthquakes are not usually thought of as building events.  When examined through the plate tectonics concept however, they can be viewed as indications of the stress that is built up by plate movement -- stress that folds the Earth’s crust and thrusts majestic mountain ranges into the air.