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Earths Structure and its Composition

4 L AY E R S O F T H E E A R T H
(CRUST) The Earth's Crust is like the skin of an apple. It is very thin in comparison to the other
three layers. The crust is only about 3-5 miles (8 km) thick under the oceans(oceanic crust) and
about 25 miles (32 km) thick under the continents (Continental crust).
(MANTLE) The Mantle is the largest layer of the Earth. The middle mantle is composed of very hot
dense rock that flows like asphalt under a heavy weight. The movement of the middle mantle
(asthenosphere) is the reason that the crustal plates of the Earth move.
(Convection Currents) The middle mantle "flows" because of convection currents. Convection
currents are caused by the very hot material at the deepest part of the mantle rising, then cooling
and sinking again -repeating this cycle over and over.
(Outer Core) The core of the Earth is like a basketball of very high temperature metals inside the
earth. But the outer core is so hot that the metals in it are all in the liquid state. The outer core is
composed of the melted metals of nickel and iron.
(Inner core) The inner core of the Earth has temperatures and pressures so intense that the metals
are squeezed together and are not able to move about like a liquid, but are forced to vibrate in
place like a solid form.
(Lithospheric Plates) The inflexible external shell of the Earth is known as the lithosphere. The
lithosphere is broken into a progression of moving plates. The limit between two plates can be a
different limit, a convergent boundary or a transform boundary. The lithosphere is made out of the
outside(Crust), and a portion of the upper mantle.
(Asthenosphere) The asthenosphere is the semi-rigid part of the middle mantle that flows like hot
asphalt under a heavy weight. The asthenosphere is a layer of the Earth's interior that includes
part of the lower crust and part of the mantle. The upper boundary of the asthenosphere is roughly
50 miles below the ground's surface.
(Lithosphere ) The lithosphere is the solid outer section of Earth, which includes Earth's crust (the
"skin" of rock on the outer layer of planet Earth), as well as the underlying cool, dense, and rigid
upper part of the upper mantle.
The crust is composed of two rocks. The continental crust is mostly granite. The oceanic crust is
basalt. Basalt is much denser than the granite. Because of this the less dense continents ride on
the denser oceanic plates. The Basalt is formed when hot material in the upper mantle is
decompressed, allowing it to melt and form liquid magma, which cools off quickly.
(Oceanic Crust) Oceanic crust, the outermost layer of Earths lithosphere that is found under the
oceans and formed at spreading centres on oceanic ridges, which occur at divergent plate
boundaries. Oceanic crust differs from continental crust in several ways: it is thinner, denser,
younger, and of different chemical composition. Like continental crust, however, oceanic crust is
destroyed in subduction zones.Oceanic crust is continuously being created at mid-ocean ridges. At
these ridges, magma rises into the upper mantle and crust, as the plates diverge. As it moves
away from the ridge, the lithosphere becomes cooler and denser, and sediment gradually builds on

top of it. The youngest oceanic lithosphere is at the oceanic ridges, and is progressively older away
from the ridges.
(Continental Crust) The continents include a wide range of rock types, including granitic igneous
rocks, sedimentary rocks, and the metamorphic rocks formed by the alterations of both. They
contain a lot of quartz, a mineral absent in oceanic crust. This Core foundation is often referred to
as a shield or basement rock. Rocks found in the shields were formed during the Precambrian and
are some of the oldest rocks found on the Earth.The continental shields are generally covered by
younger sedimentary deposits. These sedimentary rocks constitute the interior platforms of the