Some 80 percent of all the planet’s earthquakes occur along the rim of the Pacific Ocean, called the “Ring of Fire” because of the preponderance of volcanic activity there as well. Most earthquakes occur at fault zones, where tectonic plates collide or slide against each other. Other quakes can occur far from faults zones when plates are stretched or squeezed.
When two plates collide into each other, the area where a plate subducts beneath another is known as the subduction zone. Areas with the white squares on the diagram above are places where the main subduction zones are found.
Here is a diagram of what a subduction zone looks like:
The following diagram shows the distribution of earthquakes.