Tectonic plates divide the Earth’s surfaces and move across the surface of the planet. Their slow but consistent rate of movement causes them to converge, drift apart and rub together. Whilst the speed behind these interactions is extremely low, the sheer mass of these continental plates means large amounts of energy are associated with the interactions. This energy is the source of the formation of mountain ranges. However, when this energy is suddenly released it is destructive and in the form of earthquakes. There are many different specific causes for earthquakes, but they typically occur most strongly at sites of plate convergence. These areas where two plates meet face to face and one plate falls beneath the other to be absorbed into the Earth’s mantle. Professor Akihisa Kitamura of Department of Geo Science, Faculty of Science, Shizuoka University is researching to understand more about these processes, specifically what is happening in Japan.