What Goes Down
White Island is situated 48 km from the east coast of the North Island of New Zealand
Subduction Zone Volcanoes
When oceanic crust is forced under continental crust (subducted), it heats up and melts. As the crust is forced down into the Earth, fluids (mainly water and carbon dioxide) are driven out of the melting rocks. These super-heated fluids cause the surrounding mantle to melt as well. The resulting magma rises to the surface, creating some of the planets deadliest and most spectacular phenomena subduction zone volcanoes.
Subduction zone volcanoes typically erupt about 100km away from the ocean trench that marks the descent of the subducting oceanic crust beneath the Earths surface. The Pacific Ring of Fire is therefore a great line of active volcanoes that parallels the subducting edge of the Pacific Plate.
Pacific Ring of Fire