- Geology of Japan
The islands of
Japanare primarily the result of several large oceanic movements occurring over hundreds of millions of years from the mid-Silurian to the Pleistocene as a result of the subductionof the Philippine Plateand the Pacific Platebeneath the continental Eurasian Plateand the North American Plate. The northeastern parts of Japan belong to the North American Plate and the southwestern parts belong to the Eurasian Plate.
Japan was originally attached to eastern coast of the Eurasian continent. The subducting plates, being deeper than the Eurasian plate, pulled Japan eastward, opening the
Sea of Japanaround 15 million years agoFact|date=October 2007. The Strait of Tartaryand the Korea Straitopened much later.
Japan is situated in a volcanic zone on the
Pacific Ring of Fire. Frequent low intensity earth tremors and occasional volcanic activity are felt throughout the islands. Destructive earthquakes, often resulting in tsunamis, occur several times a century. The most recent major quakes include the 2004 Chūetsu earthquakeand the Great Hanshin Earthquake of 1995. Hot springs are numerous and have been developed as resorts.
* [http://www.aist.go.jp/GSJ/ Geological Survey of Japan]
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