Plate tectonics and marine hazards

Seafloor topography of a subduction zone off the coast of Costa Rica. Source: GEOMAR.

Dynamic processes beneath the seafloor can cause natural hazards (such as earthquakes, landslides, tsunamis, and volcanic eruptions) that affect people living in coastal areas. A better understanding of the processes involved in the movement of tectonic plates is required in order to assess these hazards and to identify the early warning signals that precede such natural disasters.