Earthquakes and Volcanic eruptions have always been closely related. For instance, if you look at a map of quakes worldwide and compare it to a map of volcanoes, you'll find that they match closely. Both earthquakes and volcanoes occur at the boundaries of tectonic plates, which make up the Earth's surface. Earthquakes are caused by the release of pressure built up when the plates spread apart or move past each or under each other. In slightly more complicated ways, magma is generated at most plate boundaries, and this magma rises to the surface to form volcanoes. In recent weeks, earthquakes have exponentially increased in magnitude worldwide, worrying some researchers as they provide the fuse that ignites volcanoes.

The movement of magma within a volcano causes earthquakes, usually small ones. Earthquakes are also caused by adjustments to the flanks of volcanoes and the plates under volcanoes.

For decades, a source of powerful earthquakes and volcanic activity on the Pacific Rim was shrouded in secrecy, as the Soviet government kept outsiders away from what is now referred to as the Russian Far East.

In the last 20 years research has shown that the Kamchatka Peninsula and Kuril Islands are a seismic and volcanic hotbed, with a potential to trigger tsunamis that pose a risk to the rest of the Pacific Basin.