Question: What is your opinion about the earthquakes in Japan?What causes such a large number of earthquakes there?Is it possible that, one day, these islands be destroyed by earthquakes?

  1. Hi hatsuneirina!

    The subduction zones east of Japan cause the large number of earthquakes there. The Pacific Plate is pushed underneath the Eurasian Plate, and a bit further south, the Philippine Plate is pushed underneath the Eurasian Plate. We call this subduction. Because this subduction movement happens step by step, earthquakes happen and shake the ground, and maybe uplift or subside the country by a little bit.

    Thinking in geologic times (millions of years), the islands of Japan will deform and change their face, experiencing a lot of earthquakes.

    But in the shorter term – although one earthquake can really destroy a lot and threaten thousands of lives – it is not likely that one earthquake will destroy an island, so that it completely disappears. Maybe the coastline is shifted by a bit or even a river is diverted, but it luckily takes more than some earthquakes to destroy an island.

    All the best,


  2. good answer from Andi!

    he’s right, the earthquakes won’t really destroy the island, but over a long time the size and shape of the island of Japan as we know it will change. In a *really* long time, the Hawaiian islands will be carried towards japan and if / when they meet then the hawaiian islands will collide with Japan and they might fuse together to make a new piece of land!