D student Kaustubh Thirumalai in the Western Province of the Solomons Islands.
The fault where the Pacific Plate and the Australian Plate meet lies about 30 kilometers from where Thirumalai is standing.
Mendaña then named the islands after King Solomon—Solomon Islands.
The islands are most widely known to the outside world for the World War II battles that were fought there, especially on Guadalcanal.
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The Rendova volcano, associated with the region’s tectonics, lies in the background.
Researchers have found that parts of the western Solomon Islands, a region thought to be free of large earthquakes until an 8.1 magnitude quake devastated the area in 2007, have a long history of big seismic events.The climate of the Solomon Islands is equatorial, tempered by the surrounding ocean.Rainfall is often heavy especially in the interior near the mountains and on the windward sides of the large islands.A magnitude 7.8 earthquake has struck the Solomon Islands, sparking a warning for "hazardous tsunami waves" that was later lifted.The quake hit shortly after 4.38am local time on Friday (5.30pm GMT) and was followed by four aftershocks, with the epicentre recorded off the coast of Makira island at a depth of 30 miles (48.7km). When Spanish explorer Álvaro de Mendaña de Neira visited the Solomon Islands in 1568, he found some gold at the mouth of what is now the Mataniko River.