Where do earthquakes occur most often? Many major earthquakes occur within part of a volcanic area called the Ring of Fire.
Faults are caused by all that bumping and sliding the plates do. Earthquakes do occur in and around the UK, but they are usually fairly small; the largest one recorded (in 1931) had about a thousand times less energy than the 1906 San Francisco earthquake, for example.
This 1931 earthquake occurred under the North Sea but was felt over most of the UK.
Major earthquakes, which can cause widespread devastation, occur only in certain areas of the world. This forms a huge arc around the Pacific Ocean. We call this boundary that is invisible to our eyes, a fault line. I'm a seismologist, and I've looked at probably tens of thousands of earthquakes on my computer, but I've only ever felt one really, really small one. It has earned the nickname "Ring of Fire" . The world's greatest earthquake belt, the circum-Pacific seismic belt, is found along the rim of the Pacific Ocean, where about 81 percent of our planet's largest earthquakes occur. Earthquakes in the UK. Therefore, earthquakes most commonly happen where these plates meet. As we found out in the last section, earthquakes happen when plates meet and friction is stored up as they rub against each other. 0:07 Skip to 0 minutes and 7 seconds So whether you've experienced an earthquake or not, I hope we've got you thinking about the size of earthquakes and where they occur. They tend to be concentrated in a narrow band that follows the edges of the tectonic plates – slabs of rock that fit together to make up Earth’s surface. Earthquakes can also occur far from the edges of plates, along faults. If you've never felt an earthquake, don't worry. Faults are cracks in the earth where sections of a plate (or two plates) are moving in different directions.