(Detailed PDF Map)
Global Plate Tectonics and Seismic Activity
The boundary between tectonic plates is indicative of an earthquake risk and potential disruptions of local transport systems, namely roads, telecommunication infrastructure, airports and ports. The above map depicts a global distribution of earthquake risk, ranging from low probability of a significant earthquake over the next 50 years to a very high probability (more a matter of when than if). The areas bordering the Pacific Plate, also known as the "Pacific Ring of Fire", are at a particularly high risk since most of the largest earthquake events of the last century took place in the region. The most salient recent example is the 2011 Tohoku earthquake and its associated tsunami which significantly damaged infrastructure, including transportation, along coastal areas in Eastern Japan.