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Fig21contcont

Schematic view on a continent-continent convergence zone.

A convergence zone is a tectonic plate boundary of two converging plates. If one of the plates is oceanic and therefore heavier, the heavy plate undergoes subduction and such a convergence zone is therefore called subduction zone. However, if two continental plates are converging, orogeny takes place and mountain ranges like the European Alps and the Himalayas are formed.

Major earthquakes in continental convergence zones are by far not as numerous and violent as in subduction zones. However, smaller earthquakes occur frequently and may occasionally reach dangerous intensities. The Turkey earthquake on March 8, 2010 with a magnitude of 6.1 caused a lot of damage and killed more than 50 people.