4.1 What are the largest volcanic areas in the world?

The largest volcanic risks in the world are concentrated in densely populated areas located on the hills or near active volcanoes.

The most impressive example on Earth is the “Ring of Fire”, a 40,000 km long zone of frequent earthquakes and volcanic eruptions that encircles the basin of the Pacific Ocean, also called the circum-Pacific belt or the circum-Pacific seismic belt.

The Ring of Fire involves the western coast of North America continent and the Pacific Ocean islands: Kuril, Japan, Philippines. It accounts for 90% of the world’s earthquakes and 81% of the world’s largest earthquakes.

The next most seismic region (5-6% of earthquakes and 17% of the world’s largest earthquakes) is the Alpide belt which extends from Indonesian islands of Java and Sumatra through the Himalayas, the Mediterranean and out into the Atlantic.

The Mid-Atlantic Ridge is the third most prominent earthquake belt.