Why are there so many more islands in the Pacific than Atlantic?


Recently went into a rabbit hole on Polynesia, Micronesia and Melanesia. The islands in the Pacific seem countless, whereas the Atlantic seems relatively desolate.

In: Physics

The Atlantic ocean is on two tectonic plates which is divided north to south down the middle known as the mid-Atlantic ridge. This plate boundary is divergent which means the plates are moving away from each other with molten rock creating new sea bed at the boundary. When these tectonic plates run into the continental plates they are convergent. The oceanic plates go underneath the continental plates and disintegrate back into the molten rock below. Because of this the sea bed is never really there long enough for islands to form.

In the Pacific the tectonic plates run against each other a lot more than they diverge or converge, so the seabed is there long enough to be impacted by volcanoes long enough for islands to form.

Volcanos. The Pacific is volcanically active and active volcanoes build most of the islands we see today.