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Structure of Earth (elementary)

Structure of Earth (elementary)

The Earth is composed of several spherical layers.

Geography

Keywords

Earth, structure of the Earth, geosphere, atmosphere, hydrosphere, lithosphere, biosphere, flora and fauna, pedosphere, crust, mantle, core, section of the Earth, aurora, meteor, ozone layer, continent, ocean, planet, geography

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Scenes

Geospheric structure

  • atmosphere
  • atmosphere 0 km–1,000 km
  • biosphere
  • lower atmosphere 0 km–12 km
  • hydrosphere
  • pedosphere
  • crust
  • continental crust
  • oceanic trench
  • mid-ocean ridge
  • oceanic crust
  • lower mantle
  • upper mantle
  • (30–2,900 km)
  • mantle
  • core
  • mantle
  • (2,900–6,371 km)

It is not only the outside of our planet that is spherical. Since it rotates around its axis, it is composed of spherical layers, each having different properties. The outer shells cover the surface, inside we find the inner shells.

Definitions:

Atmosphere: the outermost shell of the Earth, it is a composition of gases.

Pedosphere: the outermost layer of the Earth’s crust, a non-contiguous, soft and fertile layer providing plants with water and nutrients.

Hydrosphere: the non-contiguous layer containing all the waters in any state on Earth. This includes underground waters locked or trapped in rocks, watercourses, lakes, seas, oceans, and water vapour.

Biosphere: the system containing all living beings within the lithosphere, lower atmosphere and hydrosphere.

Crust: the outermost inner shell of Earth, it has the the smallest mass and it is composed of solid rock.

Mantle: the 2,900 km thick layer of Earth, between the crust and the core. The outer mantle is composed of plastic, molten rock, the inner layer is composed of solid rock.

Core: the innermost, hot and very dense part of the Earth, composed of iron and nickel.

Section of Earth

  • Atmosphere
  • 1,000°C
  • 690 km
  • 1,000 km
  • ionised layer
  • aurora
  • meteors
  • 500 km
  • 100 km
  • 80 km
  • 80 km
  • 50 km
  • 12 km
  • continent
  • ocean
  • biosphere
  • crust
  • 30–60 km
  • 30–60 km
  • 2,900 km
  • mantle
  • 2,900 km
  • 6,371 km
  • core
  • atmosphere
  • 50 km
  • 12 km
  • ozone layer

Cutaway

  • ionised layer
  • aurora
  • meteors
  • 500 km
  • 100 km
  • 80 km
  • 80 km
  • 50 km
  • 12 km
  • continent
  • ocean
  • biosphere
  • crust
  • 30–60 km
  • 30–60 km
  • 2,900 km
  • mantle
  • 2,900 km
  • 6,371 km
  • atmosphere
  • crust
  • mantle
  • core
  • atmosphere
  • 50 km
  • 12 km
  • ozone layer

Animation

  • atmosphere
  • atmosphere 0 km–1,000 km
  • biosphere
  • lower atmosphere 0 km–12 km
  • hydrosphere
  • pedosphere
  • crust
  • continental crust
  • oceanic trench
  • mid-ocean ridge
  • oceanic crust
  • lower mantle
  • upper mantle
  • (30–2,900 km)
  • mantle
  • Atmosphere
  • 1,000°C
  • 690 km
  • 1,000 km
  • 800–1,000 °C
  • ionised layer
  • aurora
  • meteors
  • 500 km
  • 400 km
  • 300 km
  • 200 km
  • 100 km
  • 80 km
  • 80 km
  • 50 km
  • 12 km
  • -100 °C
  • ozone layer
  • Upper atmosphere
  • Middle atmosphere
  • Lower atmosphere
  • 100 km
  • 80 km
  • 50 km
  • 12 km
  • +10 °C
  • -50 °C
  • ozone layer
  • Upper atmosphere
  • Middle atmosphere
  • Lower atmosphere
  • 80 km
  • 50 km
  • 12 km
  • -50 °C
  • ozone layer
  • Upper atmosphere
  • Middle atmosphere
  • Lower atmosphere
  • continent
  • ocean
  • biosphere
  • crust
  • 30–60 km
  • 700 km
  • upper mantle
  • 30–60 km
  • 700 km
  • slightly plastic
  • solid
  • lower mantle
  • 30–60 km
  • 700 km
  • solid
  • 2,900 km
  • mantle
  • outer core
  • 2,900 km
  • 5,100 km
  • liquid
  • inner core
  • 5,100 km
  • 6,371 km
  • solid
  • atmosphere
  • crust
  • mantle
  • core

Internal layers

  • crust
  • mantle
  • core

Narration

The interior structure of the Earth is difficult to examine. Even the most ambitious efforts to penetrate the Earth have barely scratched the surface, reaching only a few dozen kilometres out of a total radius of 6,371 km. The primordial Earth formed around 4.6 billion years ago. Due to cooling and rotation, substances in the gas, liquid and solid states separated and became arranged in spherical layers according to density. These layers are called geospheres.

Geospheres are grouped into outer and inner layers. The outer layers are the atmosphere, the biosphere and the hydrosphere. The inner layers are the crust, the mantle and the core.

The atmosphere is the outermost layer. Composed of gases, it is the lightest of the layers. The atmosphere has no definite boundary; it fades into outer space at the height of some tens of thousands of kilometres. The topmost layer of the atmosphere is the hottest; the temperature here is around 1,000 °C. The middle layer is the coldest; at around -100 °C. The ozone layer is located at the top of the lower atmosphere.

The outermost of the inner layers of the Earth is the crust. The composition of the continental crust is more diverse and thicker than the oceanic crust. Its upper layer is rich in silicates, while its lower layer consists of higher-density rocks which are rich in metals.

The mantle is divided into two zones: the upper and the lower mantle. The upper mantle extends to a depth of about 700 km. Its upper layer is solid; together with the crust, it forms the lithosphere. The molten layer located at the bottom of the upper mantle is called the asthenosphere. The lower mantle is composed of solid rocks. The amount of heavier, metallic components found in the lower mantle increases with depth. It extends to a depth of about 2,900 km.

The core is divided into two parts; the liquid outer core, consisting of molten metals, and the solid inner core, made up of iron and nickel.

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