Above is a diagram of the conventional tectonic view of "subduction" -- the action of one plate supposedly diving beneath another plate. This diagram can be found on Wikimedia commons, and there are many more like it which all show roughly the same concept.
According to the conventional view, when one plate runs into another, it will sometimes dive beneath the other plate, creating a trench (marked in the diagram above) along the line of subduction. Additionally, the conventional theory asserts that the diving or subducting plate is subjected to intense heat and pressure, which often causes it to melt as it dives deeper and deeper, turning into magma which then works its way towards the surface and creates a chain of volcanoes (these are also shown in the diagram above).
Note that these volcanoes, according to the conventional theory, should be located on the side of the trench belonging to the plate that is not diving. The magma is coming up from the melting of the front edge of the subducting plate, which is now underneath the non-diving plate (the edge of the diving plate is now on the far side of the trench from its plate, and as it melts its magma bubbles upward on the side of the non-diving plate).
In other words, in the diagram above, we see a subducting plate coming from the left, and a non-diving plate on the right. The volcanoes should form on the right of the trench, in the plate on the right, but they are the product of the front edge of the plate coming from the left. The front edge of the left plate, which is subducting and is now under the right plate, creates the magma that forms the volcanoes.
Below is another diagram showing almost the same process, but this time instead of taking place near a coast, it is taking place at sea and the volcanoes are forming on the ocean floor instead of on the continent.
Again, this diagram comes from Wikimedia commons, and again there are many other variations on this diagram that one can find on the internet, all illustrating the same general concept.
Most people learn these fundamentals of the conventional plate tectonic theory in school, and the explanation sounds fairly reasonable. However, there are many reasons to challenge this basic explanation for the formation of ocean trenches, and to question the very existence of such a process as "subduction."
Dr. Walt Brown, the originator of the hydroplate theory, has challenged this conventional explanation and provided numerous examples of evidence which argues against this explanation. He discusses these reasons in depth, along with his alternative explanation for the evidence, in this chapter of his book on the hydroplate theory, which is available online in its entirety (and available for purchase from Dr. Brown and other book-sale channels). In fact, he lists seventeen reasons that subduction is an extremely questionable explanation for the evidence that we actually find in the deep oceans, where most of the supposed subduction zones are located on our planet.
Some of the problems with the subduction theory of tectonics have been addressed in previous blog posts, such as this one, this one and this one. Another problem with the tectonic explanation that has not been addressed directly on this blog before is the existence of volcanoes on the Pacific floor that do not appear to fit the theory -- or the diagrams above -- at all.
As Dr. Brown writes in his book,
On the western Pacific floor are 40,000 volcanoes taller than 1 kilometer. They lie among trenches, not on only one side of trenches. [. . .] If subducting plates generate magma that forms volcanoes, then volcanoes should lie on the side of the trench above the descending plate. [See Figure 85 on page 150]. Actually, most volcanoes in the western Pacific lie on the opposite side of trenches. Also most volcanoes in the western Pacific are interior to a plate -- contradicting plate tectonics, which says volcanoes should usually form near plate boundaries.
The above quotation comes from pages 154-155 of his 8th edition, and can also be found online about a third of the way down this webpage, under the heading "Scattered volcanoes."
Below is an image from Google maps showing the southwestern area of the Pacific ocean floor. You can see for yourself the volcanoes which Dr. Brown is discussing in the quotation above, and consider whether the plate tectonic explanation is a good one for the evidence that we actually find, and whether the reality looks anything like the subduction diagrams shown above:
In the map, you can clearly see trenches toward the west (left) side of the image -- some of the deepest ocean trenches on our planet, in fact. The conventional view is that the plate to the right is subducting under the plate to the left to create these trenches, although how it makes those arcs and cusps is another huge problem with the tectonic theory. However, more to the point of the volcano-location discussion, notice all the volcanoes scattered across the floor of the Pacific to the right of the trenches, some of them extremely far away from any supposed "subducting" activity. The Hawaiian Island chain is one series of volcanoes in the image, but there are many others that you can see, none of which look like they support the subduction description of events at all.
Dr. Brown believes that the magma that created these volcanoes does not come from a subducting plate -- the magma came from the catastrophic events surrounding a past global flood on our planet. According to his theory, the entire floor of the Pacific was pulled towards the center of the earth by the physics involved in the flood event. When this happened, the intense shearing and heat generated magma around the entire edge of the subsidence -- a ring of magma known today as the "Ring of Fire." The same forces also "depressed, cracked, and distorted the entire western Pacific. Frictional melting produced large volumes of magma that spilled out on top of the Pacific plate. Some of that magma formed volcanoes" (154).
This explanation does a much better job of accounting for all the evidence that we actually find in the Pacific. The tectonic theory, while better than what came before it, has enormous problems. The "subduction" explanation is one major problem with the tectonic theory, but it is not alone. Scientists should overcome their aversion to "catastrophic" explanations and consider the hydroplate theory of Dr. Walt Brown, which provides very comprehensive and satisfactory explanations for the evidence we find on our amazing planet Earth.