Donate Take Action

Join us

Marine Places

Aleutian Trench

The Bering Sea is bounded to the south by the Aleutian Islands. On the Pacific side of the islands lies the Aleutian Trench, marking where the Pacific Plate is plunging beneath the North American Plate. It is this subduction zone that gives rise to the volcanic arc of islands, the most northerly link in the Pacific Ring of Fire. The Aleutian Trench continues to the east, where the contact is between ocean crust and continental crust. The largest volcanic event of the 20th century was the eruption of Mount Katmai on the Alaskan Peninsula in 1912. This boundary can also produce powerful earthquakes such as the event that destroyed part of Anchorage in 1964.

The Bering Sea and Gulf of Alaskazoom image
  • Length 2,000 miles (3,200 km)
  • Maximum Depth 26,600 ft (8,100 m)
  • Rate of Closure 3 in (8 cm) per year